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The Decemberists - The Crane Wife CD (album) cover


The Decemberists


Prog Folk

3.99 | 161 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is one of those albums that I always think of as a perfect album but then when I listen to it I remember that there are parts I really am not that fond of. In other words, the high points are so unbelievably high that they tend to block out the rest and be all that sticks in my head. Unfortunately, these high points cover up some rather mediocre moments that prevent the album from being a 100% masterpiece.

The album gets off to a stellar start. "The Crane Wife 3," though extremely simple and repetitive, is very catchy and is one of my favorites of the entire Decemberists catalog. Likewise with "The Island," a proggy masterpiece that is, in my opinion, the best Decemberists song ever written. It's powerful, lyrically brilliant, and extraordinarily well composed.

The next three tracks are fun, catchy songs, but they make you remember that the Decemberists are, at heart, an extremely smart indie-folk band. They're enjoyable to listen to, but nothing extraordinary and certainly a let-down after "The Island." "When the War Came" and "The Shankill Butchers" are a bit more interesting, and certainly darker, but much in the same vein. Likewise for "Summersong," which is very catchy and features some classic Colin Meloy lyrics.

This brings us to the second epic of the disk, the 11 minute "Crane Wife 1 &2." This is not quite as good as "The Island," but it's a comfortably close second. It's a little calmer and more melodic, too.

The album finishes with "Sons and Daughters," which, again, is very fun to listen to, but is nowhere close to prog.

Overall, the prog here is absolutely phenomenal, and the pop here is still loads better than most pop out there. A great album, just not a "masterpiece of progressive rock music."


VanVanVan | 4/5 |


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