The Hazards Of Love

  • Record Label: Capitol
  • Release Date: Mar 24, 2009
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 93 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 93
  2. Negative: 5 out of 93

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  1. Dec 15, 2012
    7
    The Hazards Of Love is a really good album that has an awesome story line. The only problem with this album is that it's songs are all very similar. This isn't exactly unexpected due to the fact that since this album is in "rock opera" form but unfortunately this makes it hard for the listener to distinguish songs from one another. Also very few songs in particular stick out asThe Hazards Of Love is a really good album that has an awesome story line. The only problem with this album is that it's songs are all very similar. This isn't exactly unexpected due to the fact that since this album is in "rock opera" form but unfortunately this makes it hard for the listener to distinguish songs from one another. Also very few songs in particular stick out as particularly good and therefore it's almost a must to listen to the album as a whole. Yes this album is good and it's worth the money but it's not the best Decemberists album. Expand
  2. Nov 18, 2010
    9
    I'm surprised the critics rated this album lower than the other Decemberists albums, I assume most of them just listened to the first song or two and made their decisions without listening to the whole product. Because the total album is very good, a journey you want to be on both for the lyrics and for the musicality.
  3. Oct 11, 2015
    10
    Im not going to tell you that youll love this album, though if you are a fan of extravagant rock operas, you should, since this is the best of that genre for a very long time. This isnt an album for someone looking to put on some tunes. It insists on your attention from begining to end, which would be annoying if it didnt so thoroughly and obviously deserve it. A masterpiece of art rock.
  4. JeffP
    Jul 8, 2009
    10
    Colin has balls, he actually believes you can write songs that mirror the most tragic aspects of our society and make them hit home with the average 10 second attention span of today's listeners, something only Cobain has gotten away with in the last twenty years. An earlier User's comment alikened HOL to Thick as a Brick, I found this true from the first listen. The span of Colin has balls, he actually believes you can write songs that mirror the most tragic aspects of our society and make them hit home with the average 10 second attention span of today's listeners, something only Cobain has gotten away with in the last twenty years. An earlier User's comment alikened HOL to Thick as a Brick, I found this true from the first listen. The span of styles is amazing, the instrumentation superb, the story a sad comment on the degeneration of parenting skills. Just a treasure to get lost in. Expand
  5. DanielL
    Mar 31, 2009
    10
    An absolutely epic piece of work from Colin Meloy. While not quite in the same vein as other Decemberists albums it tells such a fantastic story that I cannot stop listening to it. The presence of My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden singing the part of the forest queen adds something simply amazing. Her contributions send shivers down my spine. Fair warning however, this album is An absolutely epic piece of work from Colin Meloy. While not quite in the same vein as other Decemberists albums it tells such a fantastic story that I cannot stop listening to it. The presence of My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden singing the part of the forest queen adds something simply amazing. Her contributions send shivers down my spine. Fair warning however, this album is best enjoyed all the way through. Expand
  6. TimK
    May 3, 2009
    9
    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 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. mikeRosenberg
    Mar 24, 2009
    9
    Grows on you. Doesn't dissapoint.
  8. AlexP
    Mar 24, 2009
    10
    Best concept album I've ever heard.
  9. LaurenceS
    Mar 25, 2009
    9
    A brilliant piece of theatrical songsmithing akin to the likes of Jethro Tull's "Thick As A Brick" and The Who's "Tommy".
  10. KerryB
    Mar 29, 2009
    9
    Another great piece of work by meloy and company. probably my favorite decemberists album to date.
  11. DanielP
    Mar 29, 2009
    10
    If it was possible to give this album an 11, I would have. By far the best album of the '00s.
  12. ScottR.
    Apr 8, 2009
    10
    Beautifully cohesive concept album. A great listen, but one MUST have ONE HOUR to devote to the ENTIRE thing. Well worth the effort.
  13. PaulA
    May 13, 2009
    9
    Absolutely great album. No individual song can stand on its own but as a whole it is a masterpiece. Telling an elaborate story of forsaken love and tragedy. With Colin's eye for words and chilling vocals by guest singers the story unfolds. Best listened to with the lyrics page on your lap and your headphones up to 10.
  14. TimM
    Jun 23, 2009
    9
    Yes it is bonkers and proggy but uterly brilliant tunes.
  15. MarcusH
    Jul 20, 2009
    10
    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.
  16. briann
    Mar 24, 2009
    10
    Brilliant album a real experience and the more you listen the better it gets.
  17. MarkF
    Mar 24, 2009
    9
    Can't see what the critics' problem is! Great performances, great production and great tunes.
  18. StevenJ
    Mar 25, 2009
    10
    Already one of the best story tellers in music, Colin Meloy and company have painted a vivid, imaginative tale that I cannot stop listening to. I would love to see this as a play.
  19. EffE
    Mar 25, 2009
    7
    Not amazing, but much better than Crane Wife.
  20. AaronA
    Mar 25, 2009
    9
    I am loving the hell out of this album so far. There is so much going on, themes that thread throughout the album. And very dynamic - it will shift gears from a soft acoustic melody to driving drums and guitars, then snap right back. The guest female vocals are also great. Won't Want for Love is a great track, The Queen's Rebuke is the hardest I've heard the Decemberists I am loving the hell out of this album so far. There is so much going on, themes that thread throughout the album. And very dynamic - it will shift gears from a soft acoustic melody to driving drums and guitars, then snap right back. The guest female vocals are also great. Won't Want for Love is a great track, The Queen's Rebuke is the hardest I've heard the Decemberists play and they sound amazing. I can already tell that this will be one of my favorite albums for years. Expand
  21. NolanH
    Mar 25, 2009
    10
    This is the album of the year. An astonishing achievement.
  22. christianp
    Mar 26, 2009
    3
    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.
  23. MattA
    Mar 26, 2009
    9
    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 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
  24. GregCouncil
    Mar 26, 2009
    6
    Better than the subpar Crane Wife, but still really removed from Castaways and Cutouts.
  25. ChrisP
    Mar 28, 2009
    10
    Excellent!
  26. JonathanD
    Apr 18, 2009
    9
    I have not heard The Decemberists' other albums. I bought this one from having heard the Rake's soliloquy on NPR just before the album released. The story, presentation, flavor, music, and gestalt of this album is really wonderful. This album is not for someone who desires a "hip three-minute ditty," to quote John Popper. Instead, The Hazards of Love asks a lot of its listeners, I have not heard The Decemberists' other albums. I bought this one from having heard the Rake's soliloquy on NPR just before the album released. The story, presentation, flavor, music, and gestalt of this album is really wonderful. This album is not for someone who desires a "hip three-minute ditty," to quote John Popper. Instead, The Hazards of Love asks a lot of its listeners, in that an appreciation of the content is discovered slowly though an accumulation of context. The first listen was casual, and provided very few "hook" experiences. I wasn't sure I liked The Decemberists. The second listen yielded a bit more fruit, as the awareness of a cohesive story arc took off. The third listen helped me notice thematic threads attributable to characters I was only beginning to reckon. The many listens since then have continually sharpened my awareness and appreciation of this work, and I am now fully open to seeing what else The Decemberists have waiting for me in their catalog. I may like their other works better or worse, but, regardless, on its own merits The Hazards of Love is exceptional, and the professional reviewers awarding it 30s and 40s should be wary of their job qualifications. Expand
  27. ChrisM.
    Apr 5, 2009
    7
    I feel like I would be closer to giving this a 7.5 or 7.7 because of the simple fact that their pretension has entered a new level. The Decemberists have been delightfully over the top in how they portray their story telling elements and indie/folk compositions, but with this it moves into the territory of bad heavy guitar Guitar Hero II fodder rather than a new course of credible music I feel like I would be closer to giving this a 7.5 or 7.7 because of the simple fact that their pretension has entered a new level. The Decemberists have been delightfully over the top in how they portray their story telling elements and indie/folk compositions, but with this it moves into the territory of bad heavy guitar Guitar Hero II fodder rather than a new course of credible music to the Decemberists previous ideas. The concepts are intact, but where's the presentation headed? Hopefully, they'll bring back some of the old, with a modified new in the future. Not to say that this is bad that they need to scrap this as a failure. It's a decent album, but give me Picaresque, give me Her Majesty, give me Crane Wife and The Tain before you give me this after-dinner mint. Expand
  28. SteveS.
    Apr 6, 2009
    5
    Not quite a rock opera, this is basically a regular Decemberists album without any good songs. Listen to Castaways and Cutouts and Jesus Christ Superstar instead.
  29. RayB.
    Apr 9, 2009
    10
    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 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
  30. MIKEL
    May 28, 2009
    10
    A friend lent me this-Cannot stop playing- Slight Pretentious?Maybe. A Prog Folk Rock Opera in Best 70'S Mode-Gloriously So Methinks My Lord! An Imaginative & Captivating Record!!
  31. MattY
    Mar 24, 2009
    10
    The bands best album so far. Wonderful visions evoked by the wild lyrics and a cohesive album of brilliant tunes.
  32. BrandonW
    Mar 24, 2009
    10
    This is easily one of the best releases of 2009, and a valiant attempt from The Decemberists to move to new ground.
  33. DeroyP
    Mar 25, 2009
    10
    Absolutely brilliant.
  34. BrianB
    Aug 17, 2009
    10
    You can listen to the album 10 times and catch something different each time, its very intriguing to enjoy the songs musically, but to have to piece them together lyrically at the same time. Its almost homework, but its fun.
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. His plot is so preposterous and unempathetic it's more the appearance of a plot, or an elaborate joke about a plot.
  2. The narrative doesn't get in the way of the tunes, and the choruses are pretty versatile as anthems go.
  3. The result is both classic Decemberists--all folk pop whimsy wrapped up in darker lyrics than their surface suggests--and a new direction, using the '60s/early '70s folk foundations to follow their logical path into that odd corner of the English genre that somehow crossed over with Heavy Metal.