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The Decemberists - Her Majesty CD (album) cover


The Decemberists


Prog Folk

3.10 | 50 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars It's hard to believe this album is a progressive album on first spin. I was introduced to this band through this sight and the two songs they have to offer: "Shanty for the Arethusa" and "The Mariner's Revenge Song" both of which catch my ear. So I picked up this album, since I thought 'Shanty for the Arethusa' was a really good song. The ironic twist: All the other songs on the album sound nothing like the Arethusa. But am I complaning? No. I really enjoyed the album, and heres why:

From the Arethusa, its a very dark song. Very sleek, and very catchy. It stays in your head. Although it is a great song, when listining to the album as a whole, I go straight to 'Billy Liar'. Why? I listen to the album to cheer up. Alot of the songs on the album are up beat, musicly and lyricly quite joyful, and Billy Liar sets the mood better then Arethusa does. It's a very 'bouncey' song. Something you can listen to and just bounce to the beat. The music is very soothing, and the harmanizing in the choris is a treat to the ear. The music itself is quite simplistic, but it's in its simplisity that makes the song enjoyable.

From there we move onto 'Los Angeles, I'm Yours'. This song is not a very strong poin, but keeps the happy mood going that Billy had set up. It's less bouncey, but more rhythmic. There's not much else to say about this song, so onto another happy song: The Bachelor and the Bride. It's the lyrics that make this song and the harmanization in the choris. This follows the same type of happy song as Los Angeles: it's not overly that aparint or bouncey, but it keeps an upbeat mood.

'Song for Myla Goldberg' returns that bouncey happy that Billy started. Musicly and lyricly, this song isn't that great, but it has a good beat that keeps the mood of the album going. There is also a fun play on words that always makes me smile in the song. We then go into 'The Soldiering Life', another bouncey song, but it's not untill the choris that we get the bouncey happy from Billy and Myla.

'Red Right Ankle' I cant help but love. Its very simple with the acustic gitar and vocals; the music and lyrics are also quite simple. I'm sure theres a much deeper meaning within the lyrics then what I take out of it. It's a nice brake from the bouncey happy, its almost like an intermition, perhaps it's the contrast between this song and most other songs that make it so speshil to me, like Arethusa.

We then go right back into the bounce with The Chimbley Sweep. This takes what Billy and Myla brought us, and put it up one more notch. The main thing for this song is the way the lead singer sings Chimbley. It makes me smile each time I hear it. It also has some complexity within the music from time to time. The album ends with another happy tune. This one reminds me of a saloon bar song. Its a nice way to end it with a nice happy slower song. It fits the mood of the album perficlty.

Now, if you have been paying attenction, you'll have realized I've left two songs out of the analisis: The Gymnast, Hight above the Ground, and I was meant for the stage. These two songs sound very simmiler, and each are (for me) the reason why this album would be filed in my prog section instead of just a mood setter album. These are also my two favourit songs from the album. The Gymnast works its way up to just an amasing song, with a good beat and very simplistic piano. Nothing much, but enough to set down a good mood. Then Comes the chors and it becomes one of the most enjoyable songs to listen to. It's very catchy, and once you memorize the words, you just want to shout them out.

'I was Meant for the Stage" is the most progressive song on the album, and it's a shame it dosent go on for another few verses. This follows the same critira as the Gymnast, so you can just read what I've writen for this song's analagy.

Now: all in all, the individual songs on this album are ok, but it's no where near a masterpease in any way. The thing that makes this album worthy of 4 starts is the colaberation of the songs. All the songs have their place on the album. It's the kind of album you can put in a 6 cd changer CD player, and just leave it there and get enjoyment out of it each time. It's also a great album to put on when you're down and need a good lift. This album is like chocolate for the ears.

4 stars

mothershabooboo | 4/5 |


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