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

THE HAZARDS OF LOVE

The Decemberists

 

Prog Folk

4.07 | 287 ratings

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missinglink07
4 stars On their previous album "The Crane Wife," the Decemberists began experimenting with longer songs and extended concepts, and on "The Hazards of Love," it appears that the band has done their homework, creating one of my favorite concept albums/(folk) rock operas. It's got all the trademark signs of a concept album: a prelude, segues, interludes (one actually called "An Interlude"), repeated musical and lyrical themes, and an overlying topic, in this case a folk/prog/fairy-tale love story. Other reviewers have properly covered the storyline (see jammun's review), so i'll skip that.

The music varies from acoustic songs, ("The Hazards of Love 1") to ballads ("The Hazards of Love 2"), rockers ("The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid"), indie hits ("The Rake's Song"), flat-out folk ("Annan Water"), psychedelic sound collages ("The Hazards of Love 3"), and a glorious combination of all The Decemberists' numerous musical influences. At the very least, everyone can find at least one song that pleases them since the band is able to cover so many different styles while maintaining a unified piece. My best advice: listen for yourself.

The one thing this album lacks in a typical progressive rock sense is instrumental showcasing, but the lack of such "noodling" (as I have heard it put) actually strengthens the album and makes it more cohesive. And although I wouldn't call it a light listen (it took many listens before I could 100% follow the story by the lyrics alone), it isn't incredibly complex, just beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable.

Although i'm giving the album 4-stars, it's really more of a 4.5; although not necessarily a groundbreaking masterpiece in the grand scheme of things, it's an incredibly beautiful album i'm sure any fan of good music - prog or otherwise - will enjoy.

missinglink07 | 4/5 |

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