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Wednesday, July 04, 2007



BAYBEATS 2007
MERCURY REV LIVE IN SINGAPORE

August is celebration time for Singapore as the island nation commemorates 42 years of independence on 9th August 2007.


One week earlier (3-5 August) the young (and young-at-heart) will gather at the Esplanade to be entertained and thrilled by Baybeats 2007, a rock festival that showcases Singaporean bands.


However, the highlight of Baybeats 2007 will be the kick-off event – the legendary Mercury Rev who will perform for the 1st time in Singapore on 2nd August at the Esplanade Theatre.
As a lead-up to the main event itself, we will feature reviews of the last four Mercury Rev albums proper and hopefully we will be able to have an interview with Mercury Rev here soon as well.

Please return to this page for more updates.


MERCURY REV The Secret Migration (V2)


If Deserter’s Songs was Mercury Rev’s tribute to the cosmic Americana of the late 60s, then The Secret Migration is the Rev’s pop paean to 70s progressive rock.

And I am not merely making this reference only to the music with its allusions to Yes, (early) ELO and Genesis but also to the slightly otherworldly lyrics.


So Jonathan Donahue sings on “Black Forest (Lorelei)” – ‘If I was a white horse...and offered you a ride...Thru a black forest’ and it is almost impossible not to conjure images of fantasy novels but this time surrounded by a piano pattern based on “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” even as Steve Howe-styled guitar lines meander through the track’s inventive instrumental passages.


Or take the slightly offbeat “My Love” where sentences like ‘I hear of people living deep inside of the earth/They got their own sun and some claim they were here first/I've struggled with an old angel all night long/I thought it might be nice if you stayed here till dawn’ trade quips with reflections on relationships.


By and large, Donahue’s focused concern revolves around love and relationships without any reference to our modern world. So, it’s all about idyllic scenes, fairy tale settings and gorgeous albeit alien environments.


This is expressly beautifully on the ethereal and fragile “Across Yer Ocean” and in its lovely chorus, ‘And I bleed and I feel that it's all too real/On a wave of emotion sending ships across yer ocean/And I've lost all my reasons...but it's you I can...believe in’ But the Rev also realize the value of light relief and it provides one in the shape and form of the psychedelic jaunty “In A Funny Way,” with mirrored lyrics to boot – ‘Thru the fields an the streams an the lakes an the trees/An the grass an the logs run all my dogs/And I am home again.’ Indeed.


And with the 1:37 minute-long hymn-like closer “Down Poured the Heavens,” you’ll know that you have experienced something enchanting yet haunting. Kudos to Mercury Rev for this mighty step in its considerable musical evolution. A+

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