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The Decemberists: The Crane Wife

By Katherine Sue Ambellanreviews
Dec 20, 2006 - 12:00 AM

Do you like Pink Floyd? The Decemberists have decided that they do as well. On their first major label debut, The Decemberists have finally made an album that I didn't want to turn off after three songs.


Although the whiney voice still remains, it seems as though lead singer Colin Meloy found an appropriate venue for his imaginative stories.

The Crane Wife provides the usual tragedies of dying lovers and sea shanties, but for their first album off Kill Rock Stars, the Oregon based group had a little more to prove – and ultimately deliver. The album keeps an upbeat pace with predictable and likeable bridges and choruses, like "O Valencia!" The Decemberists's seamless blend of complex instrumentation with bizarre lyrics almost makes me want to let my mysterious inner literary nerd come out. "The Perfect Crime #2" sounds like the deformed love-child of The Cure and Talking Heads, then launches into "When the War Came," which sounds like the girly, weird cousin of Isis, that never really fit in.

It may take a couple listens to get into it, but each time the intricacies of the songs pull you in more, leaving you justifying to your friends, "Dude, I swear, it's actually good."

***

Katherine Sue Ambellan is a freelance journalist whose advice for break-ups is simple: The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.

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