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5 Songs EP


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Audio CD, EP, March 4, 2003
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$13.17 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


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5 Songs + The Tain + Castaways and Cutouts
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 4, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: EP
  • Label: Hush Records
  • ASIN: B00008DKBN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,141 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Oceanside
2. Shiny
3. My Mother Was A Chinese Trapeze Artist
4. Angel, Won't You Call Me?
5. I Don't Mind
6. Apology Song

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

These guys are just too good.
Marc Frontario
All pretty solid songs with a few really great ones to make this a five star album.
Nat Zorach
They are undoubtedly one of the most under-rated groups today.
Pranab Bhattarai

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By M. Starr on October 31, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I've always enjoyed music that evokes feelings of lukewarm summer evenings. Cold wintry days always seem to bring me down to a level I quickly want to be removed from. Instead, I take pleasure in evenings where the sun seems to never want to hide itself behind the horizon. The kind of evening that just doesn't seem to come around too often in my neck of the woods. Coming from the Midwest, I've always had the ability to take long drives down the highways and countryside simply for the sake of my own enjoyment. The Decemberists are a band that incorporates images of all these feelings. If you've read any of my music reviews in the past, you know that although I'm not the biggest fan of country music, per se, I am a true believer in the steel guitar. I'll even take it in the format of a pedal steel if that's all I can get. The steel guitar has just always had the ability to express true heartfelt sorrow and beauty to me.
With their Five Songs EP, The Decemberists have showcased steel guitarist Chris Funk to send the majority of this morsel straight into the pearly gates of carefree rock heaven. "Oceanside" opens with perfectly strummed acoustic guitars that are married with Colin Meloy's unobtrusive, yet confident, vocals. If you give him some time, he'll even show you that lyrics are still important to music in a time of instrumental bands. "Shiny," the next song, is such a terrific song. To be honest, it's one of the nicest damn songs I've heard in months. The chords that have been used seem to say so many things by themselves, and the steel guitar is the true star. How could anyone feel bad when listening to a song such as this one? It seems to be the mold that all others have copied. The same could be said for the next song, "My Mother Was a Chinese Trapeze Artist.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Cameron on May 31, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I view the Decemberists as something like fine wine - an acquired taste, but they get better with time. In 5 SONGS, which actually consists of six, Colin Meloy's uniquely wonderful vocals, masterful storytelling and intimidating vocabulary come to a head - and combined with accordionistas, violinists, and your standard guitar/percussion/bass, you'd be hardpressed to find indie folk rock that sounded fresher or more exciting than this.

The songs themselves are six different stories in the ever-eclectic yarn of the Decemberists, with subjects ranging from World War II love stories ("My Mother Was A Chinese Trapeze Artist") to a heartfelt apology for losing a friend's bicycle ("Apology Song"). The wavering accordion-playing and acoustic guitar-strumming skates on impressive rhyme schemes stitched together with words like "provincial" and "ubiquitous," which make 5 SONGS, and indeed each successive Decemberists album, seem like a nineteenth century British novel. But who says there's anything wrong with that?

Whether you're a fan of altrock, folk rock, or indie in general, and if you're ready for something new and inimitably unique, I suggest you start here - and keep going.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dan Grissom on December 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
If you are someone who likes the Decemberists, as I am, then you will find a lot to love in this little EP. Songs like "oceanside" and "angel, won't you call me" are reminiscent of some of the more upbeat songs on castaways and cutouts. Which means that they are fantastic, and the other songs are great too. The Decemberists is a band that I am excited about. With only a few albums under their belt, I hope I get to see them develop more and more. If the last few albums are any indication, then these guys will do just fine in the indie rock world.

As for those people who have never heard them before, they are an odd band, utilizing many great instruments that one doesn't expect to hear in rock music that much these days, such as the accordion. The lead singer's voice is remeniscent of Jeff Mangum of neutral milk hotel, but a little cleaner, and more polished. The music could be compared to people like Badly Drawn Boy, or any other indie musician with strong pop sensibilities. Anyway, if you like acoustic-driven indie music, you'll love this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marc Frontario on September 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
If it is, then it is still better than anything else out there.

The songs are all catchy, quirky and charming. I heard some comments about apology song. The comment mentioned, it is some song about some kids bike that got stolen while a friend was watching it for the summer. I think if you listen closely the end reveals that not only was the bike stolen, but so was his girlfriend. I liked the final reveal, but the song that stole my heart and rendered me listless into my mudhole of mediocrity was 'My mother the trapese artist.' This is possibly the decemberists finest song. 'my sister was found by a communist who had deserted his rank and followed his dream, to start up a punk rock band in South Carolina' the writing is that good through the entire song. These guys are just too good. They make me realize just how average I really am.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nat Zorach on January 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
It seems characteristic of the Decemberists that they would release a CD with six songs and call it Five Songs. Perhaps this is what the apology song is for. Excellent CD overall. All pretty solid songs with a few really great ones to make this a five star album.

The CD opens with a lazily playful tribute to the narrator's love in one of the Decemberists' ubiquitous seaside settings. Somewhat bouncy syncopation adds to the relaxed undertone. Shiny is a bit faster, but is probably my least favorite song on the CD-- it sounds a bit hurried and musically incomplete. My Mother was a Chinese Trapeze Artist is an interesting story about someone whose birth and family seems a bit confused, ranging from the sister's husband wanting to start "a punk rock band in South Carolina" to the narrator being betted away "to a blind brigadier in a game / of high stakes canasta."

"Angel Won't You Call Me" is pretty upbeat, remeniscent of something perhaps classic rock-esque. "I Don't Mind" again deals with one of the Decemberists' poetically confusing stories, a rather relaxed and possibly soporific song... "Apology song" is a solid and cheerful song with the Decemberists' excellent combination of harmony, guitar, and organ about a guy who loses his friend's bike (bike?)...
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