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The Decemberists - Picaresque CD (album) cover


The Decemberists


Prog Folk

3.60 | 70 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars When I listened to the opening song ("The Infanta"), I was amazed with the similarity with the "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah" sound! Great dynamics, fine melody and interesting lyrics. This excellent start is prolonged with "We Both Go Down Together". This song sounds a bit sad and melancholic; a very touching song.

The mood is again drastically different during "The Sporting Life". The beat (drums and bass) automatically reminds of "Lust For Life" (Iggy Pop). If it weren't for this obvious similarity, I could call this a real inventive track; a true optimistic and positive tune (just as the mother song actually).

It sounds as if "The Decemberists" have decided to switch from upbeat to melody all the way through; but the song writing is really good so far. On par with their good debut album (which was more solid during its first half). Instead of being monotonous like most of the songs from "Her Majesty", the band proposes a very good and inspired collection of songs combining slow parts with very enthusiastic ones ("The Bagman's Gambit").

"Picaresque" seems to follow the same pattern as "Castaways And Cutouts" in the sense that it weakens seriously with "From My Own True Love", and the Beatles-esque "Sixteen Military Wives" is not a masterpiece either.

But the quality is picking up again with the so particular sound of this band which conveys a combination of some sort of sadness and joy at the same time. Quite difficult to describe, this must be experienced. This album is more consistent as their debut with only two average songs.

It is an enjoyable record. At times (The Mariner's Revenge Song) it reminds me as well of Cockney Rebel (The Mariner's Revenge Song) and this is fine with me. A good album, which means three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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