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The Decemberists - The Crane Wife CD (album) cover


The Decemberists


Prog Folk

3.99 | 163 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I had never heard THE DECEMBERISTS before I read a comment in the forum saying that it was one of best non-prog releases of 2006. I purchased the album out of curiosity and I immediately agreed with part of that statement: the part that said it was one of the best albums of the year. I didn't agree on the non- prog part as I thought, from the beginning, that this was a progressive rock album, no doubt about it. Time changed things and now I can review this record on Progarchives, as a prog album in a totally prog genre.

The music here is quite terrific. Take a little bit of classic bands like Jethro Tull or Yes or Camel, add a little bit of current bands like REM or U2, throw some truly americana elements in the mix, add a very progressive instrumentation (mellotron included) and you have The Crane Wife as a result. The music sounds at times as full-blown prog (The Island) and at times as good alternative rock (Yankee Bayonet). But even in the latter case, it's all done with an attention to detail and with a richness of craft that it's still very close to prog standards. The music has a distinctive folk-sy flavor to it, american folk, of course; think, at times, in an american answer to Jethro Tull. You can read the lyrics and some themes in the album and the idea will become even clearer.

The highlights are, of course, The Island, the 12+ minute song that really cries the word progressive ut loud, The Crane Wife 1&2 (another long song), but also shorter songs like the delicious The Perfect Crime or the REM-ish Yankee Bayonet. Colin Meloy has a great gift for melody and songwriting and he makes the most of it in this endurable record that shall appeal to both indie-rock fans and prog-rock lovers alike.

The level of musicianship is very high as is the originality of the music. But, again, it's the melodies and the songs themselves who really steal the show and make this album a very good recommendation for music lovers.

The T | 4/5 |


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