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The Decemberists - The Crane Wife CD (album) cover


The Decemberists


Prog Folk

3.99 | 163 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The fresh music of The Decemberists strikes again.

When I heard the title and opening number (Crane Wife 3), I immediately knew that another good episode of the band was going to take place. And the feeling was superbly confirmed during the epic "The Island". During over twelve minutes, the band plays such a dynamic and varied music. No time to get bored: there is hardly a moment to breathe.

It is an enchanting moment: fine acoustic guitar and sweet violin but not only. Some passages are even on the heavy side (but not too many to tell the truth). There are also some excellent melodic parts. It is one of my favourite songs from the band.

Some songs are more straight-forward, less achieved like "Yankee Bayonet" (but lyrics are great). A serious protest song against war (it refers to the dramatic US civil war). But that was the essence of folk music in the mid-sixties, right?

Some songs convey a truly positive and catchy feeling, like "O Valencia" for instance. It is another little jewel. I'm not too sure about the progressiveness of this album, but I really like it so far.

Their frenetic rhythms, their hopping style is so powerful. A song as "When the War Came" has some reminiscence of "No Quarter" (Led Zep) during some vocal parts. I don't know if it was intentional but it is amazing. The heaviest song of all.

This album turns a bit more melancholic during "Shankill Butchers" and "Summersong". Both belong more to the folkish tradition. They are not bad but I can't say that I enjoy these as much as the first six songs which don't hold any weak moments.

The second long song from the album is the title track (actually "Crane Wife 1 & 2"). The song is built crescendo and it is just another great moment of this album. When the rhythm catches up after a minute or three; it is just irresistible (but it could have been shorter).

In all, this is my favourite album from "The Decemberists" so far. It is more consistent than their good debut "Castaways And Cutouts" which dropped a bit in quality during the second half. My rating is four stars. A very good album for sure.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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