[14] Mercury Rev, ‘Opus 40’

Mercury Rev

Deserter’s Songs topped most critical lists at the end of ’98, so people actually bought it in ’99. Inside they found a beguiling mix of Disneyesque arrangements, soaring melodies, traditional Americana and fingers-down-a-blackboard violin-mangling, all topped off with a sugary vocal from a man old enough to know better. At least half of it was great, and ‘Opus 40’ was the straight-up pop song.

I’ve lost the album, and my exclusively* autographed copy of the 7” inch single is in one of the crates I haven’t bothered to unpack yet, so I had to find the stupid, special lead to plug the mp3 player into the stereo. Was it worth it? Junior took advantage of her dad’s preoccupation to zoom around the living room pulling items out from under the coffee table and sticking her hand in the video. Almost disastrous, then. She gave the song a quick bouncing acknowledgement before taking another swing at fusing the electrics.

*Four of the fellows have signed it but there were PILES of copies knocking about in HMV, so maybe they’d had their moment in the sun. They must’ve spent a lonely session, watching the punters buying up the Flaming Lips album.

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