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The Hazards of Love

The DecemberistsAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)

Price: $17.04 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 17 Songs, 2009 $5.00  
Audio CD, 2009 $17.04  
Vinyl, Limited Edition, 2009 $18.79  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Prelude 3:04$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Hazards of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won't Wrestle the Thistles Undone) 4:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. A Bower Scene 2:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Won't Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga) 4:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Hazards of Love 2 (Wager All) 4:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. The Queen's Approach0:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Isn't It A Lovely Night? 3:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Wanting Comes in Waves / Repaid 6:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. An Interlude 1:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. The Rake's Song 3:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. The Abduction of Margaret 2:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. The Queen's Rebuke / The Crossing 3:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Annan Water 5:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. Margaret in Captivity 3:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. The Hazards of Love 3 (Revenge!) 3:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. The Wanting Comes in Waves (Reprise) 1:30$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned) 5:57$1.29  Buy MP3 

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"Rise To Me" from The King Is Dead


Life as a musician means continual evolution. Over the course of a career, any band worth paying attention to will pursue a sound, a direction, until it triggers a different idea and they’re chasing some other distant dream. With their sixth album, The King Is Dead, The Decemberists illustrate the power that comes from this kind of creative call-and-response.

When the band ... Read more in Amazon's The Decemberists Store

Visit Amazon's The Decemberists Store
for 15 albums, 11 photos, 3 videos, and 3 full streaming songs.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Hazards of Love + The King Is Dead + The Crane Wife
Price for all three: $41.75

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 24, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: March 24, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B001LK1LA6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,353 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

2009 release from the acclaimed U.S. Alternative Pop outfit. The album began when band leader Colin Meloy, long fascinated by the British Folk revival of the 1960s, found a copy of revered vocalist Anne Briggs's 1966 EP, titled The Hazards of Love. Since there was no actual song with the album's title, he set out to write one, but was soon immersed in something much larger. The Hazards of Love tells the tale of a woman named Margaret who is ravaged by a shape-shifting animal; her lover, William; a forest queen; and a cold-blooded, lascivious rake, who recounts with spine-tingling ease how he came "to be living so easy and free" in 'The Rake's Song'. Becky Stark and Shara Worden deliver the lead vocals for the female characters, while Jim James, Robyn Hitchcock, and Rebecca Gates appear in supporting roles. 17 tracks.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
136 of 150 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Incredible! A Landmark Achievement in Music March 24, 2009
Format:Audio CD
More than a singer, a songwriter, or an instrumentalist; Colin Meloy has always been a storyteller. From The Decemberists' humble debut in 2001, this has always been the case. It is for that reason, perhaps, that it's perplexing that it took the group this long to release a concept album, a record that tells one story throughout its length. 2006's brilliant The Crane Wife came close, with a story told over several tracks. Even with that under their belt, however, tackling a rock opera, a genre notoriously riddled with incoherent storytelling and major disappointments, is quite the mountain to climb - even for Meloy. Still, if any artist in today's musical world could right this troubled format, it would be Meloy. Fortunately, he has outdone not only the artists that have tried this method before, but even himself in the process.

The Hazards of Love tells the story of Margaret, a meek villager who falls in love with William, an inhabitant of a nearby magical forest. Margaret soon discovers that she is pregnant with William's child and sets off into the forest to find him. But as is so often the case with Meloy's stories, their love and future are threatened by William's jealous mother, the Queen of the forest, and a crazed, murderous widower. The album's first 8 songs set up the love story between the two central characters, while the album's second half brings the action to the story, ultimately ending with a beautiful, touching finale.

As already noted, the album's greatest strength is the story that it tells. Obviously, this should come as no surprise to any seasoned Decemberists fan, but the elongated format provides Meloy the opportunity to tell his story differently than has been done in the past.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Gem March 24, 2009
Format:MP3 Music
I admit I was nervous when I first heard about the Decemberists new album, the Hazards of Love. A sprawling concept album is a very ambitious effort and the margin of error is very small. No one would have begrudged them had it fallen flat, because the degree of difficulty is so high and success in this format seems very hard to achieve.

However my worries were for naught, as the Decemberists came through and they came through big. This album is nothing less than a home run, and may go down as being this band's masterpiece. They managed to make an album that is clever, complex, that contains a complete narrative, and at the same time is the Decemberists most rocking by far.

The album effortlessly shifts from one style to another with four main song types, the instrumentals (Prelude, Queens Approach, and Interlude), the narrative interludes (Bower Scene, The Abduction of Margeret, Margaret in Captivity, and the Hazards of Love 3), the folk-type ballads (Hazards of Love 1, Hazards of Love 2, Isn't it a lovely night?, Annan Water, Hazards of Love 4), and the pure rockers (Won't Want for Love, Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid, The Rake's Song, The Queen's Rebuke/Crossing, Wanting Comes in Waves Reprise). All of these song types work well, with the last group I think being the strongest and most compelling, but that might just be my own music tastes talking.

This is of course a concept album and thus is best suited for straight start to end listens, and is marvelous in this capacity. The album starts off well enough, but really picks up at the Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid. At this point the Decemberists take it to the next level and never let go.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant!!! March 25, 2009
Format:Audio CD
This album was released a week early through Itunes, so that's when I firts listened to it. At first listen, it was really good and then I listened to it again and it became awesome. Finally, I waited for it to be released on CD and went and bought that version of it so I could have the artwork and liner notes (as they pritned lyrics). I then listened to again and was in awe of what I was listening to. The first two listens allowed me to become familiar with the music so when I listened to it the third time I could focus more on the lyrics. This is how I came to believe, with little hesitation, that this is and will remain the best album of 2009.

The story, simplified, is this: William and Margaret fall in love with one another. The Queen (Williams mother) doesn't want Margaret in Williams life so she convinces the Rake to abduct Margaret and take her away from William forever. William then ventures out to rescue Maragaret. Now, there's a lot of folklorish substance added to this story, such as fawns, shapeshifters and what have you... but the story at it's core is a very simple and universal one and the ending is very Shakesperian.

There aren't really any songs on this album that have that instant catchiness of "We Both Go Down Together" or "Yankee Bayonett," but this is a concept should, and must, but judged in it's entirety. For instance, prior to the albums release Sirius XMU had been playing The Rake's Song pretty heavily, and while it was good I thought it was one of their weaker songs. However, I found the song to be absolutely amazing when hearing it in it's place on the album.

A true album's album in a time when radio hit makers are running the show. You owe it to yourself to listen to this album... you owe it to music to listen to this album.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great piece of artwork.
Before this my impression of the Decemberists was this indie rock group that fans of death cab and mumford listened to. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Colby D. Renfro
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album
Love this album. The narrative is so beautiful and the decemberists use so many freaking awesome instruments. Read more
Published 4 months ago by moodragonx
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Dangerous
I've been obsessively crushing on the folk musical Hadestown by Anais Mitchell lately. After rhapsodizing on my FB page about it's gritty wonder, someone recommended Hazards of... Read more
Published 4 months ago by glyphstone
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, again.
I bought The King is Dead (another album by the Decemberists) when I was in Iraq, and their combination of poetic lyrics; comforting, down-home tones; and beautiful instrumentation... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dan Crookston
3.0 out of 5 stars Can't seem to get the hang of this band
I have several friends who are big fans and I like some of their stuff. But this is my second album and I'm still not enraptured. Oh, well.
Published 13 months ago by Barbara
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
I have loved this album since the day it was released. I got a turn-table recently and I had to pick this up. There is something more "watery" about the vinyl version I just love. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Dave Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Best vinyl album I've purchased in 20 years
High quality vinyl is well suited to this incredible music that tells an awesome story. Sounds beautiful on my tube amp.
Published 15 months ago by Thomas J. Carr
5.0 out of 5 stars This will forever be their greatest work
This album represents the pinnacle of their greatness. It surpasses "The Crane Wife" by a slight margin, and "The King Is Dead" doesn't even come close to the... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Adam Howell
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I am so happy with this vinyl! It made a great addition to my collection and is by far one of my favorites. It's a bit heavy but in great condition.
Published 18 months ago by Jeanette Tokarz
5.0 out of 5 stars So cool!
I love that each song plays into each other, and when my phone isn't being stupid, I can get the songs to flow seamlessly. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Dannielle Doplayna
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Topic From this Discussion
The Rakes Song
Mar 30, 2009 by The Fan |  See all 6 posts
alternative much
What? Is this even English?
May 19, 2009 by David M. Wagner |  See all 2 posts
Methinks we have a concept album on our hands...
Jan 31, 2009 by Kyle King |  See all 7 posts
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