Saturday, January 31, 2015

Album Review - The Decemberists / What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World

Having a distinctive voice is a blessing.  It can also be a curse.

I love the Decemberists.  But on the eve of every new album I wonder how are they going to do it.  How can they take their distinctive sound and Colin Meloy's distinctive voice and make it sound new? How are you going to make you new album not sound like your last?  Especially when you are delivering 14 tracks.

They managed to do it again with this release.  Each and every time they surprise and delight me.  The lyrics are strong and personal.  That is always consistent with their music.  For their new release, although it may seem impossible, they honed their craft and became better musicians. 

It really started to hit me around 5 tracks in during 'Lake Song'.  It is oddly familiar yet a new twist on what they do best.

From that point on it continued and progressed in that direction.

I quickly found myself getting lost in their new world and forgetting about their old home.  It is fresh and still a trip down memory lane at the same time.  It sounds so easy but I would have to imagine that it is planned and deliberate.  The intricate bass lines and chords sound as though they were passed along from generation to generation.  Each album a new chapter in their family tree.

If you are a fan of  Decemberists this is their natural progression.  If this is the first time you are listening to the Decemberists do yourself a favor and go back to the beginning.  Enjoy the journey.  It will make the experience that much sweeter.

See you when the needle drops!


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