Omnibus - Tarkio
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Before he was in The Decemberists, singer-songwriter Colin Meloy fronted a Montana alt-country/alt-rock outfit known as Tarkio. This set collects that band's entire output of 27 tracks.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. 75
    Nix the emo sea-chantey stuff and these two CDs... would be pretty excellent. [Mar 2006, p.95]
  2. Omnibus offers a lot of quality songs from a quality songwriter.
  3. A fine collection from a distinct band. [Feb/Mar 2006, p.105]
  4. The songs get by on college rock atmospherics that linger for far too long and for the most part, lack the dynamism and character of even the weakest Decemberists song.
  5. You can see the seeds of what makes the Decemberists so compelling--the elaborate wordplay, the vivid images, the smooth, melodic largeness of song--along with a certain amount of appealing modesty.
  6. Omnibus is more a historical artifact for the Decemberists completist than a riveting overview of a criminally neglected band from the late ’90s.
  7. At 27 tracks, the whole affair could do with a sizable trimming, as much of the material tends to sound the same, but as far as collections go, Omnibus is the real deal, and a Decemberists' archivist's wet dream.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. tgfisher
    Feb 2, 2007
    I've been looking for 'Slow Down' forever. They used to play it all the time on KBGA, but it wasn't on Tarkio's old discs. Of course my rating is based on old memories in Missoula as well as the new disc and is a bit biased. Expand
  2. GarrettC
    Nov 16, 2006
    Love it.
  3. VincentH
    Mar 19, 2007
    A smattering of good songs, a handful of okay songs, and even more forgettable ones. I got this CD because I do consider myself a Colin Meloy-completist, so I like to have everything the man has ever done...and for good reason. Even back in the day, Meloy was a brilliantly melodic and sophisticated songwriter, even within the constraints of the "college rock" and "jangle pop" sound that Tarkio explored. The melodies are a bit more meandering here and less catchy than The Decemberists and the lyrics are a lot more standard-issue mid-90's, college guy-type stuff instead of the more narrative tales of his later stuff. There are literally like only 2 or 3 songs that get stuck in your head (not good considering how immediately catchy and essential Decemberists songs are), then you totally forget about it and never really have the desire to listen to it again. I recommend listening to it all the way through at least once if you are already a fan (you won't be dissapointed) just don't expect to hear anything that's really gonna grab you by the throat. Plus, the songs are WAAY too long. Expand