The Crane Wife

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

Universal acclaim- based on 156 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 156

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  1. Mar 28, 2012
    8
    If your not familiar with this band they're well worth getting into. This has some folk and a bit of Indie pop but the Decemberists do have their own style. There is a little bit of REM in here and if you liked Neutral Milk Hotels "In the aeroplane over the sea", at times this record has a similar feel to that (although not quite as good). There is a lot of quality on this so it's hard toIf your not familiar with this band they're well worth getting into. This has some folk and a bit of Indie pop but the Decemberists do have their own style. There is a little bit of REM in here and if you liked Neutral Milk Hotels "In the aeroplane over the sea", at times this record has a similar feel to that (although not quite as good). There is a lot of quality on this so it's hard to pick out stand out moments. Track 2 which has several songs in one and The Perfect Crime #2 are my favourites. Expand
  2. JakeM.
    Oct 5, 2006
    1
    Someone needs to call b.s. on these clowns. If Meloy's donkey-voiced bleating doesn't kill this, than the "MFA in Creative Writing" damaged narratives sink it in a sea of pretention. Please please please! Enough hyper-literate indie rock already!!!
  3. 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
  4. DDB
    Oct 18, 2006
    1
    Heinous! The creepiest minstrel music ever. And so precious. Bought it because of the high reviews - none of which are warranted. Sorry - this is bad music.
  5. NONo
    Jun 13, 2008
    0
    Somethings terribly wrong... how can a crap band like this get raved reviews?
  6. 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.
  7. RobbieC
    Feb 25, 2007
    5
    Totally over-rated.
  8. DavidF
    Jan 11, 2008
    7
    A little pretentious. I don't know if that's the word I'm looking for, but it's something like that.
  9. WH
    Oct 11, 2006
    10
    Astounding. I cannot put it down.
  10. danb
    Oct 10, 2006
    6
    Very mediocre. Their worst. I'm surprised at the acclaim.
  11. 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
  12. RobertD
    Dec 1, 2006
    9
    This could be my favorite album of the year!
  13. mgsc
    Oct 25, 2006
    8
    I have a love-hate relationship with this band. On one hand, I am fully cognizant of how pretentious Meloy's lyrics are and of how many of their songs tread perilously close to the dreaded prog-rock of my youth. On the other hand, the damned CD has not been out of my player for two solid weeks. I don't disagree with any of the posted criticism (with the exception of DDB's I have a love-hate relationship with this band. On one hand, I am fully cognizant of how pretentious Meloy's lyrics are and of how many of their songs tread perilously close to the dreaded prog-rock of my youth. On the other hand, the damned CD has not been out of my player for two solid weeks. I don't disagree with any of the posted criticism (with the exception of DDB's blanket dismissal), but damn, this kid writes some killer hooks. Expand
  14. NickY
    Oct 4, 2006
    10
    The whole album is gorgeous. The entire Crane Wife cycle, (especially part 3) are some of the saddest, most beautiful songs the Decemberists have ever produced, which is saying a lot, seeing as sad and beautiful songs are something of a specialty of theirs.
  15. MaxF
    Oct 7, 2006
    10
    Forget Decembrists that you once knew and loved. Forget the dynamic characters, the musical theater, forget the whaling songs, the gimmicky lost legionaries, flues, and parapets. The Decembrists
  16. AndrewD
    Feb 1, 2007
    10
    A true masterpiece, the Decemberists have definitely evolved in their song writing capabilities and Meloys lyrics never cease to amaze. Every song is a world of its own that one can step into, a world that they have brilliantly created.
  17. JoeB
    Jan 2, 2008
    10
    Astonishing. Breathtaking. Grandiose and sweeping. Meloy accompanies the smooth rhythm with his notes as well as he does for the hectic passion, so easily yet identifiably created. With this record he also, undoubtedly, sets himself apart from almost any other lyricist writing at the moment. His prose and storytelling demand to be listened to, moving from the elegant to the bluntness. The Astonishing. Breathtaking. Grandiose and sweeping. Meloy accompanies the smooth rhythm with his notes as well as he does for the hectic passion, so easily yet identifiably created. With this record he also, undoubtedly, sets himself apart from almost any other lyricist writing at the moment. His prose and storytelling demand to be listened to, moving from the elegant to the bluntness. The sublime to the ridiculous. The Crane wife may not be the most important album out of the states in the last five years, but it is certainly the best. When stripped down to it's essence (which is incredibly hard to do) the record is, at it's core, a novel. A novel of beauty and rare , pure genius. Expand
  18. Nathaniel
    Nov 14, 2006
    8
    Despite all the changes they've undergone, and even taking into account the occasional misstep, I can't think of a current band that's as consistently wonderful as the Decemberists. I'm tempted to give them a 10 just for "Sons And Daughters." Incidentally, they're just as much fun live.
  19. ChadM
    Nov 20, 2006
    8
    Great record, sort of puts me in mind of Neutral Milk Hotel. This is the first Decemberists album I have heard, so I have nothing to base it on when comparing to their previous ones, but this is solid, in my top 15 albums of the year.
  20. JohnF
    Nov 6, 2006
    10
    After much deliberation and close examination, I have decided that this is the best album of the year thus far and the best album the Decemberists have ever made.
  21. stevew
    Oct 22, 2006
    9
    literate and gripping , a facinating cd that wil surely be one of the best of the year
  22. MicS
    Oct 23, 2006
    10
    Different to previous albums but still excellent, a grower.
  23. PatW
    Oct 24, 2006
    10
    Minus "when the war came" every song here is spectacular. Best album of the year.
  24. matta
    Oct 26, 2006
    8
    It is good, not as good as Picaresque or Her Majesty, but definitely equal to Castaways and Cutouts. A few of the prog-rock numbers just don't work, and a couple songs are just plain cheesy, but 3-6, as well as the last few tracks are great.
  25. crabsody
    Oct 27, 2006
    8
    a great album. Definitely one of the best of 2006
  26. MattLeeM
    Oct 29, 2006
    10
    Awesome album. Track 2 makes me sadder than it has any right to,
  27. DanielR
    Oct 3, 2006
    10
    I just bought this CD, and it's amazing. Definitely their best. Where they started out with a very Sea Shanty sound, in their first album, and in Her Majesty, and moved more into a rock/pop sound in Picaresque, and used their epic sound in The Tain, this album fuses all of those together in an amazing way. I may not have good grammar, but I can tell that this album still rocks out hard!
  28. OliverC
    Oct 3, 2006
    9
    An absolutely wonderful album. Great new sounds from the band. The only reason it doesn't get a 10 is because it unfortuneately has to be compared with some of the greatest albums ever, namely "Picaresque" and "Her majesty"...
  29. GetMinty
    Oct 3, 2006
    7
    We like this.
  30. JulioC
    Oct 3, 2006
    9
    Not too good as 'Picaresque", but lyrical and strong melodies.
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. Entertainment Weekly
    83
    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").