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Monday, January 31, 2011

"The King is Dead", long life to The Decemberists

The King is Dead- The Decemberists

To me, "The Hazards of Love", was the first failure from a band with an almost inmaculate career. The album went too far, making the Portland group dangerously approaching into "progressive rock" territory. So "The King is Dead" is refreshing in its immediacy and lightness. Welcome back hooks, welcome back choruses to sing out loud. Welcome back melodies.

Their sixth record flows easily during its 40 minutes. On the gently and soaring ballads -"Rise to Me" and the two hymns "January and June"-, Colin Meloy reaches disarming climaxes with simple melodies and his voice joined by Gillian Welch. And on the strongest folk-rock songs, Peter's Buck contribution emerges to give The Decemberists the impulse to deliver the two masterpieces of the album. The joyful jangle of "Calamity Song" and the thunderous guitars of "Down by the Water", bring us back to R.E.M's glorious past, and places both tunes among the greatest of the band's catalogue.

It might not be as unique and special as "Picaresque" was, and it may have a couple of  "minor" songs-, but overall "The King is Dead" is a magnificient record, and proves the "touch" fits pretty well to The Decemberists, who in return, have never sounded so confident and joyful. Long life to The Decemberists. Long life to the new "King" -who is the surprising number one album at the U.S Billboard ranks right now-.

SCORE: 7.5/10

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