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The Decemberists - Down By The Water CD (album) cover

DOWN BY THE WATER

The Decemberists

 

Prog Folk

2.55 | 7 ratings

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missinglink07
3 stars Although they've been playing a few songs off of their upcoming album "The King Is Dead" in concert, this is the first recorded track officially released by the Decemberists, available from their website.

After the absolute beauty that was their last album "The Hazards of Love" and the glory of the prior release "The Crane Wife," I was incredibly excited once their new album was announced. However, based on this track alone, I'm afraid the Decemberists may be taking a slight step backward...

Down By The Water is a pretty basic, catchy, indie-folk/alt-rock song. With a driving beat and and mixed acoustic/arpeggiated elecric guitar, the song is very reminiscent of the style of R.E.M. (guitarist Peter Buck even guests on this track), which is a very pleasant sound, especially for a long time R.E.M. fan like myself. This style blends well with the Decemberists typical sound, and the added harmonica solos and the male/female vocal harmony throughout add something a bit special to this track, at least compared to other Decemberists songs.

But looked at as a part of their whole catalog of songs, Down By The Water pales in comparison to many of the Decemberists' other prog-folk wonders from their past few albums. Although the instruments are played and the song is sung well, there's very little emotion behind it. And from a progressive standpoint, there's really not much to say; despite some slightly elaborate vocal harmonies and some folksy instrumentation, it's just a simple, catchy song. Although it's no masterpiece, it's a great song. If you're a fan of the Decemberists or you just want a nice listen, go to the Decemberists' website and download the song. 3 Stars for quality, but leaning towards 2.5 from a progressive standpoint.

missinglink07 | 3/5 |

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