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

THE KING IS DEAD

The Decemberists

 

Prog Folk

2.91 | 68 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

FunkyM
3 stars Much has been made of The Decemberists' 2011 album The King Is Dead. In some circles it has been considered a return to their folky roots. Meanwhile, on Progarchives.com it (as of this writing) holds the lowest rating of any Decemberists album.

It's easy to see why this album may polarize some. It is a very different beast than the group's 2009 album, The Hazards of Love (which just may be my favourite album of that year). Gone are the bombastic progressive rock influences and the grandiose concept album storylines. Instead we have something more along the lines of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young-meets-Blue Rodeo with a little bit of Bob Dylan and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers thrown in. The Decemberists' trademark sound is still easily recognizable though. They're in safe territory with this album and the folk-rock influences are indeed strong.

While this album may not appeal to prog-rock fans, is it a bad album? In my opinion it isn't. While it doesn't reach the heights of The Hazards of Love or The Crane Wife, the songwriting is still good and a number of the tracks on the album are memorable. The second half of the album is particularly good. My favourites are "Down By The Water", "June Hymn", and the closer, "Dear Avery".

In my opinion, The King Is Dead is successful for what the album aims for, but it is a drastic change in style from their last few albums. Consider yourself warned.

FunkyM | 3/5 |

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