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The Decemberists - The Crane Wife


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Old 12-04-2006, 02:27 PM   #1
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The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

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Capitol raised a few eyebrows when they signed indie stalwarts the Decemberists. There's nothing blatantly commercial about the Portland quintet, from Colin Meloy's quavery voice and hyper-literate lyrics to the band's wide-ranging music, which encompasses baroque pop, prog rock, and dozens of other styles. Then again, he did once sing, "I was made for the stage," and those who've seen the group live know this to be true. Sure, they're storytellers, but they're entertainers, too--just not in the Top 40 sense. Never ones to play it safe, their major label debut takes its inspiration from a Japanese folk tale. It travels from the Replacements-style balladry of "The Crane Wife 3"--which joins words like "Each feather it fell from skin/'Til threadbare while she grew thin" to the melody from "Here Comes a Regular"--to the ELP hoedown of three-part epic "The Island" to the haunting duet between Meloy and Laura Veirs on "Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)." It's an impressively eclectic effort that somehow manages to avoid sounding scattered. Co-produced by Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie) and Tucker Martine (the Long Winters), the Decemberists' fourth full-length is richer, less immediately catchy than its predecessor (there's nothing as bouncy here as Picaresque's "Sixteen Military Wives"). It's also a deeper work that resists snap judgments. Some records hit you over the head with their brilliance, others need time to percolate. Time will tell if The Crane Wife is the Decemberists' best album--it's certainly their most ambitious so far.
Anyone else enjoy this album? I'm new to this band but I'm very impressed with this. The song cycles and the instrumentation are fabulous. And lyrically, they are very good indeed.
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:37 PM   #2
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Re: The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

Top 3 album for me.
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:41 PM   #3
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Re: The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

Listening to it as we speak.
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:02 PM   #4
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Re: The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

I've overplayed the Decemberists, I'm afraid. I haven't listened to them for a number of weeks but I do love this albumn. May give it a spin later.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:34 PM   #5
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Re: The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

I need to give it a few more listens but I suspect it will make my Top 10.

Which of their other albums would you guys recommend I try next?
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:36 PM   #6
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Re: The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

Picaresque. I love that one.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:36 PM   #7
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Re: The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

I love "Her Majesty" a lot. Picaresque was one of the best albums of last year.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:45 PM   #8
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Re: The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

Thank you both. Time to explore their back catalogue for sure.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:50 PM   #9
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Re: The Decemberists - The Crane Wife



"16 Military Wives" from Picaresque.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:52 PM   #10
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Re: The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

Thanks!

The new board feature is very handy.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:58 PM   #11
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Re: The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

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Originally Posted by Sydneyfan View Post
The new board feature is very handy.
I agree...Great new feature!
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:28 PM   #12
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Re: The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

I love The Crane Wife too, all their albums are worth buying, imo. Castaways and Cutouts hasn't been mentioned and it's also very good. Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect is still one of my favorite Decemberist's songs.
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