Quick Review (LP): Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter

HALCYON-DIGEST-575x567 Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD; 2010

My Rating: B+

Best Tracks: “Revival”, “Desire Lines”, “Helicopter”, “Coronado”

I got to know Deerhunter earlier this year via the excellent single and “b-side” Revival/Primitive 3-D. “Revival” is here as well, the perfect doorway into the band’s throwback pop impressionism. Now I’m not familiar with Deerhunter’s back catalog (yet), but this album certainly seems to channel the golden age of pop music. Whether it’s the “heart in sax” of “Coronado,” or “Basement Scene”, which takes the Everly Brothers’ “Dream” through the looking glass, this is a record shot through with thoughtfully deconstructed rock and roll. It’s a pretty good record, one that might have made my A-list, but unfortunately a good number of the songs are overlong. Often these tracks begin with a great idea, then devolve into a dull monotony. The effect is that the songs quickly grab you, and then just as quickly let go. Of course, that might be the whole point. After all, the album’s title would suggest that we are encountering something ideal and fleeting, a mental photo album of fleeting memories. So I grant that. Unfortunately, it still leaves a potentially great record just below the mark. Be that is it may, overall this is a solid record, and I’m excited to hear more from Deerhunter, both past and future.

Pitchfork review
Paste review
Metacritic reviews
Band website
Daytrotter session