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Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain Import

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, September 26, 2006
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Sparklehorse are set to release their first album in five years, 'Dreamt for Lightyears in the Belly of a Mountain'. The album follows the band's much applauded last album 2001's 'It's a Wonderful Life'. As anyone who knows the joys of Sparklehorse, there's mystery and magic here once again. We are given glimpses of sleeping old bears, hammering hooves, Ophelia in the creek and Christmas bulbs glowing in the night. Mark Linkous remains a man shrouded in enigma and the last five years have bought with it much adventure as well as turmoil.

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Battling his own personal demons while he has been highly coveted as a producer for other bands, singer/songwriter Mark Linkous' output with his own Sparklehorse has been as irregular as it is ingenious. And it's been five years since the candid album It's a Wonderful Life welcomed a clean-and-sober, Linkous crafting the same divine and bizarre songs that have come to define his North Carolina-based band. That inclination continues here with the peculiar front man punctuating his songs with mentions of ghosts and knives and mountaintops, and presenting them with a murmured, spaced-out and psychedelic soundtrack. The up-tempo, bundle-of-nerves pop songs "It's Not So Hard" and Guided by Voices twin "Ghost in the Sky," though luscious, seem out of place among slow and startling ballads like "Getting It Wrong," "See the Light" or, especially, the imminent kiss-off "Some Sweet Day," where Linkous grouses, "I was the one who loved you most/ But you can't put your arms around a ghost." A parting shot that's meant to linger—much like the 53 minutes that are Mark Linkous' latest comeback. --Scott Holter
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 26, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B000GLKP9Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,827 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD
It's been five long years since Sparklehorse's "It's A Wonderful Life," which is probably the most "ordinary" album Mark Linkous has ever produced. But the mysterious Linkous returns to his peak with "Dreamt For Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain," his fourth album full of unpredictable indie-rock.

The title should show you how likely it is that we'll hear Sparklehorse on mainstream radio. And true to its name, "Dreamt For Light Years..." is like a dream -- a wild, unpredictable, sad and exquisite dream, which is sure to captivate listeners who want music to be an experience.

It opens with fuzz, blips and mellotron, and then Linkous starts singing, "Your face is like the sun/sinking into the ocean/your face is like watching flowers/growing in fast motion..." The grimy guitar and swelling strings kick in, for a charmingly upbeat little song that lulls you into the right frame of mind for the remaining songs. Of course, it's not really upbeat -- it's all about Linkous pleading with his lover not to leave him.

Having lulled you into the Linkous Zone, the album gets stranger and more appealing as it progresses -- the shimmering folk "Shade and Honey," meditative folk, classic indie-rock, and jagged lo-fi rockers. This is weird, wonderful music, with the pleading love son It finishes with the title track, a ten-minute piano instrumental full of sadness and exquisite beauty.

Though "It's A Wonderful Life" was the last Sparklehorse album, this one owes a lot more to his masterpiece "Good Morning Spider." Okay, the album is apparently not about near-death experiences, but Linkous still sounds sad and surreal here, with no nods to convention. Even when he tries to be upbeat, he sounds like his heart is breaking.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the type of music I typically wouldn't care for. The music is electronic and airy, and the singer's voice a little too sweet and fragile for my taste. I must say, though, that the disc is very good. The songs are layered, complex, and the album unfolds nicely. After a couple of spins, I found myself really enjoying the music and the mood it creates. To me, the only negative is the 10+ minute wordless final song, with soft, dreamy melodies that would have made a nice 2-3 minute finale but don't quite keep my interest for the entire duration.
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Format: Audio CD
Sparklehorse has always been a favorite of mine. Mark Linkous has been one of the most important American songwriters in the past ten years. He put out a great album five years ago. He collaborated with many famous people. He toured for a few years. He spent some time producing records by other people. He was doing some soundtrack work. It is refreshing to hear something new by him after all these years. Right off the bat it sound simpler and stripped down. It sounds like Linkous playing most of the instruments himself. "Don't Take My Sunshine Away" has a Beatles vibe. Much of the album returns to "Dear Prudence" like arpeggios. This album is much more intimate. "Shade and Honey" sounds like a song that could have been on the previous album. But there are no studio tricks. It's mostly voice, guitar, and keyboards, and drums. I am guessing that Scott Minor is playing on this. "See The Light" has a guitar sound that simple, pure, and beautiful. "Return To Me" is like the oldest music from a warm place. "Some Sweet Day" is the only song that sounds weird and layered. Sparklehorse occasionally has a hard rocking tune like "Pig." On this album it is called "Ghost In The Sky." There is a second one called "It's Not So Hard." I noticed that this album refers to things long gone. I met Mark Linkous a few years ago. He was a real nice fellow. "Morning Hollow" sounds like one of those songs where there is nothing left to say. I like these kinds of records. These allow some much room for dreams.
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Format: Audio CD
With breathtaking range, a heartfelt sensability that doesn't annoy, great ideas, lyrics and melodies, Sparklehorse strums his way into his fifth or so album, with beautiful nonchalence. But don't be decieved. This is a rich, interesting, complete album. All the trimmings. And maybe the first time since Vivadixie that he's had rendered emotions so bare.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
First off, though I love Sparklehorse more than (quite possibly) any other band, this has never been my favourite record by Mark Linkous — that spot is taken by the first 3 albums — It's A Wonderful Live being the pinnacle hands down.

I decided to buy this on vinyl because despite there being some incredible song (Don't Take My Sunshine Away & Return To Me — for example), it also contains Morning Hollow and the title track Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain. I suppose it's my fault that I just assumed this LP would contain all the tracks (isn't it reasonable to assume that?) — Very sadly it doesn't contain the title track. So I'm a little disappointed about that.

Despite that the record ends leaving you feel like there has been no closure, it is after all a really great record and one that all Sparklehorse fans should have in their collection. That said, Plain/Capitol Records really should have just released this as a double disc, and I hope they decide to do so in the future.
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