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Dream in Sound

4.0 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 11, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

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Hailing from Athens, Georgia, and often discussed in the same breath as psychedelic upstarts Olivia Tremor Control and Neutral Milk Hotel (since they all operate under the loose umbrella of the Elephant Six collective), Elf Power are an eccentric rock quartet that perform engaging, subtle music with a sonically subversive underbelly. On the band's third full-length release, songwriter Andrew Rieger shows a penchant for clever wordplay on tunes like "All the Passengers" and "O What a Beautiful Dream." Along with band members Bryan Helium, Aaron Wegelin, and Laura Carter, Rieger takes the listener on a quirky musical journey that is as surreal as it is smart with unconventional instrumentation and random noise filtering throughout. With cameos by Athens alt-rock royalty, this marks the dawning of a new psychedelic underground. --Mitch Meyers
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 11, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: August 10, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arena Rock
  • ASIN: B00000IMIL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,179 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 7, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This album is produced in a much cleaner more conventional way then "when the red king comes." It really works though and the songs are so well written that they thrive under the microscope as we can hear most every wonderful lyric. Both albums so superb in different ways... There is a definite glow to this album. I just saw these guys at the 40watt here in Athens and it was one of the best shows i've ever seen. The band is super nice and friendly... and their music is very one-of-a-kind and beautiful. So, go out and buy all the albums and see them when they come around your area. I really like the song "jane" on this album.
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Format: Audio CD
First, a preamble: I remember the day that I bought this record quite well. May 19, 1999. Now I don't normally make a habit of remembering the exact date I purchase records. However, this instance is burned into my psyche by the coincidence that it was the same day that "Stars Wars: The Phantom Menace" was released. We had tickets for the 3:00 A.M. showing and obviously plenty of time to kill waiting in line. With this in mind, a friend and I headed down to the local record bizarre. I was already into the whole Elephant 6 thing but at this point there wasn't a whole lot to choose from besides the big 3. I was anxious to get some new records by the collective and the name Elf Power appealed to the Middle Earth in me.
Anyway, there is a point to all this. While the arch of my story could stretch ad naseum into the disappointment I felt when I watched the movie or the fact that I drank way too much in the parking lot and threw an empty beer bottle across a SRO theatre, I'll spare you. My point is this: While the release of the first new Star Wars movie in nearly 20 years should have been the cultural windfall that has stayed with me since May 19, 2001 it was, in actuality, this inocuous little record out of Athens, Georgia that has left its indelible imprint on me. What a fantastic record this is! Enough good things cannot be said of Elf Power or their producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips)on this go `round. While their previous effort had some truly outstanding moments, "A Dream in Sound" is where it all comes together: the whimsical Neil Young-on-helium falsetto of Andrew Reiger, the T. Rex meets Robyn Hitchcock absuridty of the lyrical and musical hooks. This record has everything a fan of psychedelia appreciates.
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Format: Audio CD
I rushed home to play my new CD (a birthday gift purchased from Amazon.com) but my bratty kids had a fit. We have just one DVD/CD player hooked to the home stereo system, and my little monsters had their hearts set on watching "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". We compromised by watching the movie to the sounds of "Elf Power". Life has never been the same since. This imaginative, creative masterpiece spins Snow and the boys into a frightening, psychedelic direction. It's pop music with dreamy yet distinct analytical lyrics about galaxies and creation, and the beginning of the universe. The bands fifth album sheds its Disneylike image, and seems to transform into more of a Grimm's Fairy Tale. With song titles like "Everlasting Scream" and "Unseen Hand", our family is certain to be blasting Halloween trick or treaters with "Creature' as they approach the front door.
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Format: Audio CD
Although its place in the genre of 'rock' is questionable, A Dream in Sound, along with The Winter is Coming and When The Red King Comes, is undoubtedly among the finest albums made recently, or ever. Combining skillful yet subtle instrumentals with enticing vocals, Elf Power is modern music at its best. I cannot speak highly enough about the album or the band.
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Format: Audio CD
No, it's not the kind of elf power that we saw in "Lord of the Rings," with the rings and the river and so on. It's one of those deliciously weird names that Elephant 6 bands frequently use. And in "A Dream in Sound," Elf Power magicks up a sweet, vaguely psychedelic batch of catchy pop tunes.

Expect to be hooked in by "Will My Feet Still Carry Me Home," a catchy, light little tune, because then it's off into the even catchier "High Atop The Silver Branches," a wistful yet bouncy melody, and the rollickingly staccato title track. This tendency peaks with "Simon (The Bird With The Candy Bar Head)," which is augmented by playful horns and birds twittering.

But don't expect Elf Power to be all brightness and fun. "Willowy Man" establishes a handful of aching, bittersweet ballads, like the melancholy "Jane." And "Carnival" is pure fun -- horns, sparkling twitters and fast drums establish a wonderful circus atmosphere, before dying out with a horn blat into the psychedelic-rocker "The Well."

Okay, who could resist checking out a band with a name like Elf Power? They don't measure up to sister band Neutral Milk Hotel, as few other Elephant 6 bands can. But taken alone, Elf Power is refreshingly fun, catchy, and has the talents of other Elephant 6 alums like Jeff Mangum to give it some extra flavor.

Their sound is more like Britpop, and less like the eerily strange creations of their sister bands. Instead of sounding surreal, they opt for catchiness. They start off with the obvious guitars and percussion, but also use lots of organs, horns, distortion and weird sound effects to make it sound just a little psychedelic.
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