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


The Decemberists


Prog Folk

2.92 | 89 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The King is Dead is the Decemberists celebrating their indie/folk stylings more than their prog-folk artistry. This really shouldn't be surprising, considering that at the time of this album's release, 3 of the band's 5 records were more indie than prog. However, it's also not surprising that the Prog Archives average reviews shows that we as a group favor those 2 albums that lean more towards prog than indie. The King is Dead isn't the follow-up that some of us wanted after the excellent Hazards of Love, but it is an enjoyable example of the Decemberist's thoughtful blend of rock and folk.

In fact, the King is Dead is probably the best example of the band's "total package" to date. It's heavy parts are heavier; it's softer parts are more tender; the vocals sound more experienced; and the instrumental moments are very well executed. The band plays with a more electric sound then they have in the past, with fewer antique and acoustic instruments in the mix. Query's bass stands out as being more prevalent throughout, as does the vocals of Meloy, which come across as more mature and steadier. None of the songs cut as deeply or as powerfully as we heard in Hazards, but this is a different kind of album. It's a mix of mostly mid-tempo tunes that stand well alone or when taken in as a group.

The songwriting and tone doesn't even tip-toe into "progressive" territory, but that doesn't make the King is Dead bad, just good but not essential. Recommended right behind the more artistic Crane Wife and Hazards of Love.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |


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