Review: The Decemberists – The King Is Dead

The Decemberists - The King Is Dead

Taking a look back at the breakthrough record from The Decemberists called The King is Dead brings back a flood of memories about what was going on in the music scene at that time. It seemed as if indie rock and folk rock were merging forces to become the new “it” genre that music fans, and critics alike, couldn’t get enough of. Bands such as Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, and The Decemberists were gaining momentum at just the right time. This album would be The Decemberists first album to chart at the top of the Billboard 200, and the opening single “Down By The Water” also experienced success on the Modern Rock chart as well. Prior to this album’s release, front-man Colin Meloy stated in an interview, “If there’s anything academic about this record, or me trying to force myself in a direction, it was realizing that the last three records were really influenced by the British folk revival […] this whole world that I was discovering, that I was poring over, learning inside-out. It was a wanting to get away from that. And looking back into more American traditions, reconnecting with more American music.” By getting more in-tune with these American traditions and stylistic choices on found on this album, The Decemberists were able to release their most successful and accessible record to date.

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Review: The Decemberists – I’ll Be Your Girl

The Decemberists - I'll Be Your Girl

When looking back at the accomplishments for Indie Rock mainstays, The Decemberists, one may think that they have little left to prove on their eighth album. However, this group has never been afraid to make the music they want to make, and bring their loyal fans along for every thrilling and unique chorus. I’ll Be Your Girl finds The Decemberists not only comfortable with who they are, but also as an artist willing to paint with new and vibrant colors.

The flowery cover art and liner notes fit the content of the music well as the album shines brightly and helps paint the story on a canvas that fans of the band have grown accustomed to. The first single and album opener, “Once in My Life” starts the listeners’ experience on the LP on a high note with the familiar strumming of an acoustic guitar and the warm, anthemic vocals of singer Colin Meloy who puts everyone on notice that all is not well in the world. Given the current state of the political climate and the honesty portrayed in The Decemberists’ catalog, it’s easy to tune in for the ride the band takes us on for this album.

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