The Hazards Of Love - The Decemberists
The Hazards Of Love Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 86 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Portland, Oregon, indie band's fifth album features guest appearances by Lavender Diamond's Becky Stark, My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Robyn Hitchcock, and the Spinanes' Rebecca Gates.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. The Hazards of Love is shockingly good.
  2. The real surprise of The Hazards Of Love is how well it works as a straight-up rock album.
  3. Listening to The Hazards of Love is thrilling, both because of the music itself and because the disc was such a sheer gamble from the first. Improbable as it seems, they just might pull it off.
  4. 80
    The album sound stultifying, but this is far from the case, thanks to a steady stream of surprises and a depth of detail that reveals itself incrementally.
  5. The album is still frequently guilty of some of the shortcomings that have plagued the band since "Picaresque."
  6. This is a man who penned a song called 'Chimbley Sweep' without conceding how daft that sounds, and this overblown opus about a mythical Margaret is equally wet and earnest.
  7. Hazards of Love drowns in convoluted plots, blustery guest vocalists, and comically out-of-place guitar shredding.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. MarcusH
    Jul 20, 2009
    A work of sheet insane genius. I'm as gob-smacked on the 100th listen as the 1st -- even more so. This is a truly brilliant creation of fine art and good ol' rock n roll. Expand
  2. ChrisP
    Mar 28, 2009
  3. RayB.
    Apr 9, 2009
    although the songs run on from one to the other, which is something that annoys me to no end, this album is stand and notice time. I have yet to listen to any of there other efforts, but if this is any indication of the quality so far, they are probably one of my top ten bands for the decade. I have listened to this album about 6 times through so far, and have been only more and more impressed and entertained. They have vision. They an authentically origianal band making music the way it should always be. The album is top notch. There are absolutely no loose ends, and everything works to a tee. There are no throw away songs here. It's a delight from start to finish. In fact, I would suggest that you listen to the album from start to finish. One song wont be enough. Expand
  4. LaurenceS
    Mar 25, 2009
    A brilliant piece of theatrical songsmithing akin to the likes of Jethro Tull's "Thick As A Brick" and The Who's "Tommy".
  5. MattA
    Mar 26, 2009
    I will just start by saying that those who say that this "Isn't a decemberists album" are completely and utterly wrong... besides the fact that it's on the cover. The decemberists have been known to try new sounds, riffs, melodies and other means to match Colin Meloy's ambitons. The Hazards of Love is as close to a "Rock Opera" as we're are going to get now-a-days, and for that, i humbly applaude Colin for taking a risk and creating a fresh experience in these modern times. Now, i have to say that i am a HUGE decemberists fan, so i may be a bit biased in my review. However, being a fan, i can say that this album is not for everyone. It's very complex, emotionally driven, and one can't get singles from it... easily... The album is, However, very cohesive and succeeds in building and releasing in moments to create a full fledged story element, climax and all. If you are going to listen to this album, do it in one sitting... or on the car ride to and from work. It takes about an hour. I won't guarantee that all will like it, but if you've ever liked the decemberists and understand their lore and style...then enjoy. Listen to "The Tain" if you want a similar experience by the same band... consider it the "short film" to the "feature length." Expand
  6. TimK
    May 3, 2009
    C'mon. listen to this... it's easily a '9'. 'The Crane Wife' was great, this is a masterpiece on par with Quadrophenia or the wildly underrated Honeydogs' album '10,000 Years' and it even has some mixtape stuff. It's funny that Merryweather Post Pavillion has been touted as a competitor to Kid A as album of the decade, and then a month later an LP comes out that may be better. I love the Animal Collective album, but personally, I love this more. Expand
  7. christianp
    Mar 26, 2009
    What a disaster. A self-glorifying wank-fest, devoid of the sweetness, the catchiness, the charm or past Decemberists releases. Even worse, it's painfully boring. I winced my way through it once, and that was plenty. Expand

See all 33 User Reviews