‘The Light in You’ was designed to bring Mercury Rev back from the brink. As the band’s first release since 2008’s ‘Snowflake Midnight’, this ninth album has been a long time coming. It is, at its heart, a tribute to the long-standing friendship between band co-founders Jonathan Donahue and Grasshopper, and it’s clear that the sentiment here is genuine, even if during ‘Central Park East’ and ‘Autumn’s in the Air’ things become saccharine.

Lyrically, it’s all a touch too emotive and literal, filled with references to nature and the seasons, which can feel a bit like a high school band rather than indie stalwarts as credible as these. It’s the musical composition that is Mercury Rev’s real strength here. ‘You’ve Gone With So Little For So Long’ features haunting strings that build up to a surprising crescendo before dropping away to be replaced with music-box chimes.

All told, ‘The Light in You’ is not quite the ‘back from the dead’ album Mercury Rev intended it to be. The redemption is personal, intimate, and does not quite make it to the audience.


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