Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Decemberist - The King Is Dead (2011)

If you want to see what a cohesive discography is about you should be looking for all the 6 albums of The Decemberist, and a good way to start 2011 is this LP "The King Is Dead". It’s been a while since The Decemberist made a record of individual takes on each song, since 2006 they made two highly successful albums reminding the entire concept albums that Neutral Milk Hotel made on the mid 90's. These albums were "The Crane Wife" of 2006 and "The Hazards of Love" of 2009 (one reaching more spectacular music than the other). This time around they go back to their early sound, more simple and with a direct approach that some might miss from their first LP "Castaways And Cut-outs" from 2002 and for whom are not familiar with their early stuff this will be a not so different album from the past but just with the advantage that you can pick one song for a playlist and stop the fear that it will begin or end in the middle of a big picture.

The Decemberist are used to delivering beautiful songs with complex instrumentation, just like all the super multi instrumental indie bands, but this time the sound is much more discreet but yet the same, what changed for this LP is the complexity of the songs because they tend to be more direct and with no great instrumentals interluding or dramatic changes. A change some might hate it when listening to the record.

This LP is less epic than the rest and I believe that the intention is for it to be more accessible to a general audience, the mood in this LP is much more positive, upbeat and happy than the previous, I wouldn't say the best of The Decemberist, but definitely a good way to start the year that, the test will be if it was good enough to stick not only in their previous fans and generate a new fan base. Still with the less spectacular album, The Decemberist manage to make a few remarkable songs in this LP that don't forgive the less spectacular twist but demonstrate that this is a band that can still be great and there's no reason to stop watching them.

Still there are good songs worth the listen, with quality for any Decemberist record, these are January Hymn, June Hymn, This is Why We Fight and Dear Avery.


1. Don't Carry It All
2. Calamity Song
3. Rise To Me
4. Rox In The Box
5. January Hymn
6. Down By The Water
7. All Arise!
8. June Hymn
9. This Is Why We Fight
10. Dear Avery

Rate: 6/10

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