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Audio CD, Import, International Edition, January 1, 2007
The Decemberists know that the psychology of a culture at war is complex; that historical archetypes can inform the masses on current events far better than the evening news; and, perhaps most importantly, that life is ultimately a spectacular and colorful pageant. They remind us that, on any given day, we might rub shoulders with rogue spies and runaway prostitutes, child monarchs and vengeful mariners, boy ghosts, couples contemplating suicide, cannibals and drowning angels. This existence is indeed a spectacle to be revered.
In August of 2004, Rachel Blumberg, Jenny Conlee, Chris Funk, Colin Meloy, and Nate Query set up shop at a former Baptist church in Portland, Oregon. With co-producer Chris Walla at the controls, the five musicians collectively known as The Decemberists emerged three weeks later with the bulk of the work completed for Picaresque (Kill Rock Stars - March 22, 2005), their most ambitious and realized effort to date.
Picaresque is yet more proof that the Decemberists' Colin Meloy is the songwriter who loves loveespecially when it ends in death, ("We Both Go Down Together," "Of Angels and Angles"), disease ("The Mariner's Revenge Song") or in some other tragic way. This CD spends some time in the band's familiar old Europe setting, although Meloy also touches on politics, espionage, and even soccer. (Proving he knows his fan base, Meloy's "The Sporting Life," is the perfect shout-out to the kids who preferred the library to the gym.) Long-time fans will know what to expect from this album, which compares favorably to the other LPs on their catalog, and with Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla on board as producer, the band seems poised to reach the greater audience they deserve. If you're not already a listener, don't wait another second to become one. With their remarkable vocabulary and bawdy-yet-literary imagery, the Decemberists are guaranteed to make you smarter even as they make you weep. Pop this in your CD player, grab a dictionary, rock and learn.--Leah WeathersbySee all Editorial Reviews
Just getting to know the Decemberists, very unique group, I like music- that tells a story, their songs tell stories! Read morePublished 7 months ago by AngelaJ. Stewart
Fantastic album and it sounds so much fuller to have it on the record than just than my low bit rate mp3 copy of the album.Published 13 months ago by Evan Laing
I like this raw sound. I really get tired of newer releases when they over produce the sounds and make a band way too shiny. This is original and interesting to listen to.Published on August 21, 2013 by d willi
Love the upbeat introspective maiming macabre whoring literate and historical package. Saw them at Edgefield Manor and fell in love.
Going through a grueling divorce :)