Monday, May 18, 2009

The Hazards of Love

I am always hopeful. I am especially when I hear that the Decemberists are coming out with a new release. I am hopeful that they will one day have a song that is comparable to “The Mariner’s Revenge Song”

But it seems I am always disappointed. Their new collection, The Hazards of Love prolongs my disappointment for yet another year.

Colin Meloy is probably the most literate lyricist working today. He uses words that are mellifluous with impressions of another time. Compounding that with his distinct vocal style one would imagine that he grew up in a small stone house that is heated with peat in the British Isles.

It’s not that the Decemberists musical collections are not good; they are good, but I am put off by their floundering. Listening to one of their albums you might think you had five CDs loaded in your player with the random button on. One song will be earthy and literate but that will be followed by something reminiscent of Black Sabbath, followed by something that sounds like ELP or Yes and they return to the Mediaeval sound.

The concepts of these collections are great, magical and all sorts of other complimentary adjectives, but I just wish they would stick in one style for each collection. Really Colin, if you wanted to do an entire album with a Coleman Hawkins score, I could go for it, or if you want to do an entire album with percussion I’d go for that, but please stick with one period,


Blogger Auntie said...

Mariner's Revenge is still one of my faves, also, but didn't really care for the rest of Picaresque.

However, I do enjoy the whole Crane Wife CD.

A kind friend of mine turned me on to the Decembrists just over 2 years ago.

6:28 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Hence, the popularity for downloading only those songs you like from a CD to iTunes, your iPod, making a compilation CD or whatever...

7:37 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Well! A new group to explore. That was an odd and intriguing video. I'll have to frisk around and see if I can find some more of their music. Personally, I think the best lyricist at this time is Tony Carey, but that's just my opinion. ANd, of course, it depends on what type of music you are in the mood to listen to. Because I feel the same way about Paul Simon, Ian Anderson, Richard Thompson and Bruce Cockburn, depending on my mercurial mood. I did like "Mariners Revenge" tho. I'll give them a listen and send them 'round to the others for review.

8:21 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Auntie, You're welcome.

Beth, but that removes the possibility for songs to grow on you.

Darev, they are a local Portland group that has gained national attention, like Pink Martini did a couple years ago.

4:58 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Local boys, eh? Dang. I figured from the way the lead singer mispronounced his r's that he was at least from Wisconsin or further east.

8:19 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I think Colin was from Montana, but he is affected with something vocally peculiar.

9:37 AM  

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