• Record Label: Capitol
  • Release Date: Oct 3, 2006
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 150 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 150

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  1. ToddW
    Oct 4, 2006
    4
    Any group that is the champion of dysfunctional dressers can't be all bad, right? Uh, yeah. These guys make me want to hit the "Next" button on my CD player quicker than anyone I've ever heard. If you favor doom and gloom with a glimmer of pop, these guys are your ticket. As cold and lifeless as the winter month from which they take their name, may they be banned to a career of Any group that is the champion of dysfunctional dressers can't be all bad, right? Uh, yeah. These guys make me want to hit the "Next" button on my CD player quicker than anyone I've ever heard. If you favor doom and gloom with a glimmer of pop, these guys are your ticket. As cold and lifeless as the winter month from which they take their name, may they be banned to a career of staring out at those worst dressed lemmings with the bad eyewear. Please just stop trying to inculcate the rest of us. Expand
  2. DanB.
    Nov 21, 2006
    5
    I quite liked most of their first three albums but here something's off, to my ear. Not sure what. It's just... very boring, to me, and a few of the songs actually were really grating. Oh well.
  3. RobbieC
    Feb 25, 2007
    5
    Totally over-rated.
  4. danb
    Oct 10, 2006
    6
    Very mediocre. Their worst. I'm surprised at the acclaim.
  5. RichardS
    Oct 18, 2006
    6
    This album just falls short for me. The songs are mostly mediocre and very undistict. There are two major exception to this: The Island,... which is a fairly good song if you dont mind the length. However the song is too much like the Tain, and doesn't live up to the standards that the Tain set. The other song is O Valencia which still doesn't quite live up to their old This album just falls short for me. The songs are mostly mediocre and very undistict. There are two major exception to this: The Island,... which is a fairly good song if you dont mind the length. However the song is too much like the Tain, and doesn't live up to the standards that the Tain set. The other song is O Valencia which still doesn't quite live up to their old material. So if you don't know the Decemberists or don't know them that well, this isn't a bad album to pick up, but if you are familiar with a lot of their work, don't get your hopes up too high from the good reviews. Expand
  6. SYanoff
    Dec 30, 2006
    6
    Good, but not great Decemberists work. Their previous album, Picaresque, remains their best work to date. Still, this album has two of their best songs ever on it: "The Crane Wife 3" and "Sons and Daughters".
  7. TristramC
    Nov 22, 2006
    6
    I am not one of those indie snobs, I'm really not. I have been happy with Modest Mouse, White Stripes and several other bands after signing major label deals. I can't help though feeling like that major label sheen has hindered the Decemberists here. It still sounds like Colin and Company but that edge of their first 3 albums is absent. Its as if the lack of resources helped the I am not one of those indie snobs, I'm really not. I have been happy with Modest Mouse, White Stripes and several other bands after signing major label deals. I can't help though feeling like that major label sheen has hindered the Decemberists here. It still sounds like Colin and Company but that edge of their first 3 albums is absent. Its as if the lack of resources helped the band before. A lot of The Crane Wife sounds ambitious and tired as if Colin wanted to make sure his new employers were happy with the material and by recording time he was thoroughly exhausted. 'Oh Valencia' is admittedly great but their epic "The Island" doesn't do much except plod. It is long and it sounds long. I hope the best for these guys. They paid their dues and all. If I hear of them though scored to an OC episode in the future I am going to have to earl. Expand
  8. bryan
    Oct 15, 2006
    6
    Still better then most things out there but a clear drop from the first 3 albums and The Tain. I can only assume that part of the reason it is getting such high marks is how incredible the earlier work was and how much of a connection people feel with the band (I am one of those people myself). Kind of sad it isn't better...
  9. SavannahC
    Nov 13, 2006
    5
    The Crane Wife, although not impossible to listen to, sounds uninspired and thoroughly uninteresting. I would give the album a much lower review, but there is nothing technically wrong with this album. Its just really boring.
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Oddly, the unconventional sequencing and measured pace of the album make the fragmented mess hold together quite well.
  2. The jarring faux-metal riffage of "When the War Came" exposes Meloy's limits, but several of these studies in heartbreak and homicide rank among his most moving. [6 Oct 2006, p.68]
  3. Most of The Crane Wife consists of rehashes of Decemberists staples and by-the-books, cookie-cutter indie pop that runs the gamut between pleasant enough ("O, Valencia!") and barely tolerable ("Summersong").