Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Decemberists - The Crane Wife CD (album) cover


The Decemberists


Prog Folk

3.99 | 163 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
3 stars As I wrote in my latest review, THE DECEMBERISTS never really impressed me, always saw them as an Alternative/Folk band with some remote relation with Progressive Rock, but not enough to be in a full Prog genre, maybe Prog Related if not too much, but even when I disagree, also respect the decision of the team in charge of Prog Folk.

Then time passed and gave "Picaresque " a new listen and found some interesting moments, but still not enough to grant them the inclusion to PA, so believing I chose the wrong album, bought "The Crane Wife" which is praised as their magnum opus, and yes, the album is superior, but not remotely Prog.

At least the sound is more original, yes, still "Colin Meloy" tries to be the new "Michael Stipe", but they are no longer the REM wannabe that I found in Picaresque. The music is far more elaborate than in their previous release, but despite the excellent Hammond explosions they never leave the Alternative/Folk territory.

After the incredibly boring and extremely predictable "The Crane Wife" comes the best moment of the album with the 12 minutes multi-part epic "The Island". After listening four albums by this band, it's the first time I find a reason to be exited, the album no longer sounds as a "Meloy" solo project but as a solid and coherent band with a strong personality.

If the were to be added to PA this is the track that could justify an inclusion in Prog Related, because the structure is extremely elaborate and the ideas are close enough to the spirit of Progressive Rock, with amazing changes and a killer organ, excellent song.

But "The Island" is only a mirage, as soon as the song ends, they return to their predictable and depressing Alternative sound with little interest for me, well, probably "Summersong" has it's moments, but not enough for me to consider "The Crane Wife" the masterpiece others see, but every person has it's taste.

Even when I believe "The Crane Wife" is a one song album (Maybe two if we count "Summersong"), "The Island" is so good that grants three stars for the album, if it wasn't for the epic, maybe I would have gone as low as one star, because most of the rest absolutely boring.

For fans of alternative music.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this THE DECEMBERISTS review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.