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The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love CD (album) cover


The Decemberists


Prog Folk

4.07 | 292 ratings

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The Runaway
5 stars 1 listen was all it took.

In the 10 times I have heard this album I was stunned and shocked amazed, again and again and again. I could not describe that feeling ever since the moment I heard "A Bower Scene" on the Jango music website until the moment I had tried to learn the Hammond organ solo on "The Queen's Rebuke / The Crossing", even though I don't play the organ and don't own a Hammond. It is sad that I cannot describe this album's perfection in words....

It takes 3 minutes to get through the so-called "Prelude" and into the actual, "Hazards of Love 1". How many tunes does this album have? Around 10, but does it matter? If you, the reader, ever come upon such a complaint, pass over it, as clearly, the reviewer fails to recieve the message this album is trying to send.

As always, Colin Meloy's lyrics are beautiful, yet shocking. It's hard to think that a person like Meloy who wrote songs like "July, July!", now writes songs like "The Rake's Song", which very clearly describes the killing of The Rake's children.

Unlike The Decemberists' previous albums, The Hazards of Love is a showcaser for every person, and every instrument. Did anybody notice the massive orchestra in "The Wanting Comes in Waves (Reprise)" which is built from only a few stringed instruments and the Hammond organ? That is amazing indeed.

Let's say you have never heard the band, what do they sound like? In the beginning, they would sound like regular alternative rock bands but in a few years' time they would progress into the band that they are in albums like "The Crane Wife" and this one. This may be a good starter album for the proggers, but for the indie rockers, this isn't the best recommendation. Can you imagine Keith Emerson, Ian Anderson, Sandy Denny, and Ray Shulman in a band together? This is what The Decemberists may sound like in this album.

Compositionally and lyrically, this album is perfect. There is no other word for it but perfect. The tracks that would be best to listen to understand the meaning of this paragraph would probably be "The Wanting Comes in Waves / Repaid" and "The Rake's Song", which are sheer prog, and nothing else. So what if there are simple riffs in the album? Does it make it worse? It's still progressive, and it's still progressive rock.

So yes, 5 stars, as this is an album that will be remembered for generations (hopefully) and will also be regarded as a masterpiece, when the day comes (hopefully).

The Runaway | 5/5 |


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