The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

What’s that you say? Every other blog has already posted about this album? They did so two months ago? No I’m not a sheep, I’m just a bit slow. I’ve known and enjoyed this album for as long as everyone else but unlike so many other bloggers I don’t feel the urge to post as soon as an album is released. I like to welcome it into my collection, let it settle in, give it the time it deserves and if it's truly is great, that’s when I’ll tell you about it. As they say, slow and steady wins the race. Except I’m not winning. For those who don’t know, The Decemberists are an indie-pop group from the USA who have found much of their fame thanks to music blogs. Last year they released an album that was quite successful though I didn’t really care much for it. After signing to a major label you may have thought this latest offering may be cramped creatively, but it is far from the case. The Crane Wife is filled with obscure storytelling and an unorthodox structure that includes a 12 minute, 3-part track, clearly designed to discourage uploaders such as myself. The album goes for over an hour but despite this, there isn’t a dull moment on it; each song comes on in a new direction with its own catchy hook. The style ranges from upbeat melodic romps to mellow acoustic ballads, with all coming together seamlessly. Their signature folk sound is still present but the album is also full of other influences, my favourite being the use of organs, which all combine into a rich listening experience. I’m not sure if I just missed something with their last album or whether The Crane Wife actually is a great improvement, but either way, this is a highly enjoyable album that’s definitely worthy of listen (or five).

The Landlord’s Daughter – I had to extract this song from the 3-part track I mentioned earlier but it was definitely worth the effort. It’s funky tracks like this that first grabbed my attention and encouraged me to listen further

Yankee Bayonet – The pace of this song is more in tune with the rest of the album. It’s a shame the female vocals in this song are just a one-off because they sound really great in this little duet

3 comments:

Drunk Country said...

wagon-banding or otherwise, good call.

The Crane Wife has a galloping, giddy quality that is so,so lacking in any of their genre-crossing stablemates/contemporaries.

we love the organ throughout this record; so much so we invested in another one of our own.

pour yourself a cold one.

x D.C.

Peter said...

ah good to hear someone agrees. you can bet i'll be pouring plenty more cold ones....

Wayne said...

the crane wife is indeed excellent. the last 2 tracks are just fantastic.