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The Decemberists

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The Decemberists Always The Bridesmaid: Vol 2 album cover
2.60 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Days of Elaine (4:29)
2. Days of Elaine (long) (6:35)
3. I'm Sticking With You (3:37)

Total time: 14:41

Line-up / Musicians

- Colin Meloy / singing, guitar, the drums (3)
- Nate Query / bass guitar
- Jenny Conlee / piano, Hammond organ (1,2), singing
- Chris Funk / guitar, singing, autoharp (3)
- John Moen / the drums, percussion, singing, guitar (3)

Releases information

EP Jealous Butcher JB075 (US)

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
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Buy THE DECEMBERISTS Always The Bridesmaid: Vol 2 Music

Vol. 2-Always the Bridesmaid:a Singles Series [Vinyl]Vol. 2-Always the Bridesmaid:a Singles Series [Vinyl]
Imports 2008
$36.23 (used)

More places to buy THE DECEMBERISTS music online Buy THE DECEMBERISTS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

THE DECEMBERISTS Always The Bridesmaid: Vol 2 ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE DECEMBERISTS Always The Bridesmaid: Vol 2 reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars On the second release in the “Always the Bridesmaid” series the band seems to reach back to the mid- seventies for Paper Lace-like pop rhythms, combined with their sometimes penchant for R.E.M.-inspired ambience. Add Colin Meloy’s admirable story-telling abilities and you have an almost danceable ditty about some lady named Elaine who seems to have a problem with bad men and booze; combined with a slow-building and awkward love song of the sort that makes geeky Decemberists fans virtually swoon with delight. Not much in the progressive music department, but these are both catchy tunes that will go over quite well in future concerts for the band. There’s also a longer version of “Days of Elaine” included with a few instrumental flourishes, but its not all that much different than the first version really.

“I’m Sticking with You” features keyboardist Jenny Conlee in the lead singing role for some reason. It is quite unusual for the band to feature anything but the quavering tenor of Colin Meloy in the lead vocal role, but in this instance the result is at least charming, at best a nice stretch for the band. The song takes a minute to get going and starts off sounding like a Conlee piano/vocal solo; but eventually guitarist Chris Funk throws down with some pretty cool fuzz guitar and Colin Meloy gets behind the drum kit and the whole thing ends up being another disjointed and haphazard cacophony much like the ending of “I Was Meant for the Stage”. Again, this ain’t timeless progressive rock, but its kind of fun to listen to.

There would be one more ‘bridesmaid’ single before the band wrapped up the series around Christmas 2008. The new studio release is due out in March and will surely be much more interesting and complex than these songs, but for a couple bucks you can at least whet your appetite for all things Decemberists and hopefully that will keep you going for the time being.

Two stars just because this isn’t for general mass consumption, but recommended to anyone who digs the band.


Review by The Whistler
3 stars As Leif the Lucky said to his cabin boy, now we’re getting somewhere (now pass me that ale)! Raping and plundering aside, I far prefer the second single in the Always the Bridesmaid series to the first, and for one reason. But we’ll get to that in a moment.

From the first piano notes and soaring chorus in, “Days of Elaine” sounds like it might be “Valerie Plame Take Two.” And, structurally, it is somewhat similar; this is indie power pop, if you will. The difference here is that the song overall has twenty times as much energy as “Plame,” and even, in that soaring chorus (“And the time that it takes, well it goes-so-slow”), a hint of sentiment.

If you’re not convinced it’s good by the end of the song, stick around; “Days of Elaine (Long Version)” is probably THE REASON this singles series was created. The first four minutes are, well, the same as the short version, but then it spins into two minutes of a rhythmic workout; and any excuse for the Decemberists to show off their instrumental chops is well taken from me. Toss in some sound effects here and there, and you have epic indie power pop, a fairly clever move on the band’s part if you ask me.

Shame then that we decide to finish the single off with “I’m Sticking With You,” a cover of a Velvet Revolver song. If “Elaine” was a minor bright spot in the Decemberists’ catalogue, then this cover is a minor birth defect. Dirty, draggy and stylistically thin, the song lingers on way too long with a deconstructionist ending that was far better pulled off in “I Was Meant for the Stage.” The only fun thing about this number is that all the band members switched instruments, a minor footnote at best.

Leave it to Colin Meloy and the boys to do this. Take the best song from the Always the Bridesmaid series, play it twice, then stick it next to the worst song in the series. “Elaine” was, unsurprisingly, my introduction to this series (saw it on the Conan O’Brian show), and I was delighted to hear it in its full form. But there is really no reason to hear the B-side, unless you dig the Decemberists and the Revolver. Still, anyone who wants to hear something called epic-indie-power-pop should track down the titular track, if only for giggles.

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