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The Decemberists - The Crane Wife CD (album) cover

THE CRANE WIFE

The Decemberists

 

Prog Folk

3.97 | 120 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

missinglink07
4 stars I first discovered The Decemberists with the help of my friend. He actually got me into progressive rock in the first place by showing me "Relayer" by Yes, and although he has since moved on to broaden his musical horizons, I made it my quest to obtain all of the great prog of the past, with relatively few detours. Since we no longer had identical musical tastes, when my friend gave me "The Crane Wife," i expected to forget it very quickly, but I was delightfully surprised at how great this album is.

The album begins with "The Crane Wife 3," the vague yet beautiful conclusion to the rest of the Crane Wife story told later in the album. Instantly upon listening to this song, you'll know your in for a treat.

Next is the multi-part suite "The Island," which instantly appealed to me. After a layered introduction built on an interesting repeated riff, the first section begins. "Come and See" is a nice, occasionally rocking song, and as the title suggests, it beckons you to keep listening. The next section, "The Landlords Daughter," is an energetic piece with excellent organ work and a great Moog solo to boot. Building to an emotional climax, it's the most beautiful song about abduction and rape you'll ever hear! The contrast of the ending piece "You'll Not Feel the Drowning," a beautiful acoustic track with an orchestrated part near the end, leaves you stunned, and after it's all over you'll want to listen to it 100 times more. My favorite track on the album.

Next are a series of shorter songs. "Yankee Bayonet" lets the band's Indie side shine through, and although it's a pleasant song is fairly forgettable. "O Valencia!" is very radio-friendly, but it's still an excellent track with a great story of gang rivalry and love. "The Perfect Crime #2" would've been excellent, but it feels like it drags on forever (and the repetition of the word "Perfect" 1000 times is quite cheesy). "When the War Came" is another rocker and also drags a little long, but is much more interesting that the previous track. "Shankill Butchers" is a beautiful, somber acoustic piece - and very folky - and is one of the album's highlights in my opinion. "Summersong" is best for showcasing how the band can combine folk and indie styles with excellent results.

Finally, we come to "The Crane Wife 1 & 2," the beginning and middle to the story that ended in the first track. The other reviewers already covered the story of this one, so there's no need to be redundant. Colin Meloy is both an excellent songwriter and storyteller, and his abilities really show on this track and the album in general. The album ends with the pleasant "Sons and Daughters," an peppy round that contrasts the sad story of "The Crane Wife."

Overall, this album should please any fan of progressive rock looking to prove that there is still hope for modern music. This, along with their next album "The Hazards of Love" is a masterpiece for the Decemberists. However, in the grand scheme of all things progressive, this album is best suited for a 4-Star rating. But i still recommend this for all prog fans.

missinglink07 | 4/5 |

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