Noise, it seems, can be neither created nor destroyed, but simply transformed; with the relative lack of noise on Mercury Rev's concurrently released Deserter's Songs, the sonic dementia so long a hallmark of the band's sound had to go somewhere, and so it's instead found a home on The Orbit of Eternal Grace, the debut solo effort from Rev guitarist Grasshopper. With guest appearances from other group mainstays like Suzanne Thorpe and Jason Russo, there's little mistaking the record's connection to the Rev aesthetic, although the abrasive acid-pop of tracks like "O Ring (Baby Talk)" and "Univac Bug Track" harks back more to early LPs like Yerself Is Steam and Boces than to the orchestral grandeur of the band's latter-day material. While perhaps not a huge departure, The Orbit of Eternal Grace is still that rare solo project driven not by ego but by the genuine desire to try something different, and its best moments -- the lovely "Ballad of the One-Eyed Angelfish" and "N.Y. Avenue Playground" among them -- rival those on Deserter's Songs.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny