Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Decemberists: The King Is Dead

"After a series of increasingly complex albums, the Decemberists step away from ornate chamber-pop trappings on their latest, an album with no harpsichord, no hurdy-gurdy and barely any bouzouki. In fact, 'The King is Dead' (Capitol) is startlingly straightforward, featuring 10 songs steeped more in American roots music than the English folk (and, on 2008's 'Hazards of Love,' prog) traditions that leader Colin Meloy has more often drawn from over the past decade. ... The Portland, Ore., band's sixth album is full of acoustic guitars, mournful pedal steel licks and bursts of harmonica and violin. There are also lovely vocal harmonies, many of which come from Americana singer Gillian Welch. Nobody sings close harmony like Welch, and her voice hews to Meloy's as closely as the backside of a shadow on seven songs, starting with opener 'Don't Carry It All.' ... Meloy's lyrics are again full of naturalistic imagery, with plenty of rivers and streams ... and a particular emphasis on seasons" (Eric R. Danton, "CD Review," Sound Check, 1/18/11).
View catalog record here!


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