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The Decemberists - The King Is Dead CD (album) cover


The Decemberists


Prog Folk

2.90 | 77 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars In my own personal opinion, this was a very disappointing album. With this release the Decemberists have seemingly abandoned the prog folk grandeur of "The Hazards of Love" and parts of "The Crane Wife" in favor of a much more stripped down, immediately approachable sound. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but this is nothing close to prog rock and even the pop here isn't as good as things they've done in the past.

The album starts off on a fairly weak note, as "Don't Carry it All," to my ears, sounds fairly amateurish by the Decemberists' high standards. "Calamity Song" is much better; very catchy and, in my opinion, very good lyrically. "Rise to Me" is a bit slower and sounds very country. "Rox in the Box" reminds me quite a bit of their early material, and it's probably one of my favorites from the album. "January Hymn" is another slow one, and like "Don't Carry it All," it simply doesn't sound worthy of the band performing it. Same with "Down by the Water," which is easily my least favorite song on the disc. "All Arise!" is another country sounding song, and, while not bad, it's pretty forgettable. "June Hymn" is much better than its January counterpart, and it has very good vocal harmonies, unlike "Down by the Water." "This is Why We Fight" and "Dear Avery" are good, but for the Decemberists they're fairly cliched and bear none of the lyrical brilliance of earlier Decemberists work.

Overall, if you like the Decemberists for their prog, you will find nothing of value here. If you enjoy them for their intelligent pop, you might find this a three star album, but you're still far better served by listening to "Castaways and Cutouts."


VanVanVan | 2/5 |


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