The story of Mercury Rev is one of the most heartwarming in recent pop history. Always popular with the critics, it wasn't until after years of commercial failure and internal strife that the New Yorkers hit the jackpot with their sublime album, 1999's Deserter's Songs. Good to report, then, that this follow-up is at least as good, a wide-screen kaleidoscopic vision of dreamy contemplation and child-like wonderment. All Is Dream is an absolute delight from start to finish, filled with sweeping tunes, dizzying arrangements and plaintive vocals - with not a hint of irony or cynicism in sight. An album of rare beauty, and one of the very best to be released this year.