The Prettiest Whistles Won’t Wrestle the Thistles Undone

Even if you didn’t download the new Hazards of Love album. You should well be able to guess that the above lyric could only have been produced by indie/prog/folk- rock band, The Decemberists.

I was happy, nay, ecstatic, that I did not have to wait a week to obtain a copy of said new album from Colin Meloy and company. Why? you ask. Sadly, I have become a slave to iTunes, especially since they so often allow me to purchase much of my favourite music before it actually comes out in stores. (I’ll definitely buy the vinyl of this album as well, though).

I just listened to the album straight through. This is really the only way you can listen to it, which is both a pro and a con. It’s a con because few of the songs stand as strongly alone as much of the other Decemberists catalog. It’s also a con because very few songs stand out from the album itself. But here’s the pro – and it’s a big one.

It is quite possibly the best complete album I’ve ever heard. It’s one continuous story, and all the songs complement and blend so well with each other, that you don’t get the feeling that you’re listening to 17 (count them, 17!) tracks, but rather one single super long song.

Sadly, this may not prove to be very accessible for a lot of people. Maybe the Decemberists really wanted to prove that they hadn’t sold out when they signed to Capitol Records. Their debut major label album with two 8 minute plus songs (one of which was split into three parts, and put out of order on the album) apparently wasn’t enough. Rock Opera was the next logical move.

I do suggest you give it a listen. I’m going to do so again right now.


~ by aeqvitas on March 18, 2009.

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