Dreamt for 5 Years in the Belly of a Studio

Nov 14, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Great intricately layered low-fi which remains always cognizant of pop sensibilities.

Cons:This type of music isn't for everyone. There are no attempts to create singles here.

The Bottom Line: I'm a fan of dream-pop, ambient-pop, alternative rock/pop, low-fi pop, alt-pop, power-pop and this album stays true on one way or another to all of the above.


Sparklehorse - Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain

In keeping with what seems to be a recent trend within the noise-pop, dream-pop, low-fi subgenres, Mark Linkous comes back after a 5 year lull with an intricately crafted and densely layered collection of sub-pop numbers that add up to a some very introspective, downbeat, mellotron soaked and thoroughly satisfying listening experience (for those interested in the genre). While appealing on a low-fi, dreamy, sometimes noisy level, the album never abandons its pop sensibility which makes this Sparklehorse’s most accessible album to date. In this sense Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain brings to mind such releases as Low’s, The Great Destroyer and The Flaming Lips, At War With the Mystics (drummer Steven Drozd contributes here). Dave Friedman of Mercury Rev fame and Danger Mouse also make contributions here, but Linkous isn’t overshadowed although the influences of these bands among a host of others certainly make themselves heard.

The song progression is a mix of both mellow and folksy mood music and jagged edged heavy alternative rockers, the juxtaposition of which might in most circumstances result in an off-balanced record, here some of the mellow songs sport heavy flourishes and some of the heavy numbers part for dreamy breaks. Wonderful and decidedly upbeat power-pop melodies permeate throughout to keep things tied together for the full 50 some odd minutes here.

If you’re already a Sparklehorse fan there’s lots of Sparklehorse here for you. The album seems to draw more Good Morning Spider, which will remain Sparklehorse’s definitive album for now, than from It’s a Wonderful Life which features a bit more collaboration which is discernable.

If you haven’t been introduced to Sparklehorse before but enjoy dream pop, alt pop/rock, low-fi and the noise pop that evolved from the such acts as Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. and the sound that carries on today through the work of such bands as the Flaming Lips, Low, Mercury Rev, Pavement, Sigur Ros then you’ll have plenty of places to start appreciating the contemporary efforts of Mark Linkous and this latest installment from Sparklehorse.

I first heard the opener 'Don't Take My Sunshine Away' on satellite radio which does set the pace very well for the rest of this album but only hints at what waits to be discovered.


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