The King Is Dead

  • Record Label: Capitol
  • Release Date: Jan 18, 2011
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. Q Magazine
    Feb 1, 2011
    60
    The Decemberists have never sounded more ordinary. [Feb. 2011, p. 114]
  2. Jan 27, 2011
    60
    It's a solid album with strong production and songwriting, but it won't blow any minds.
  3. Jan 20, 2011
    60
    The way they put together their country-rock is rarely less than tasteful with some nice moments, like the sinuous guitar riff of 'Calamity Song'. Only on 'January Hymn', though, where they capture the stillness and melancholy of winter beautifully, do you forget to check the joinery.
  4. Jan 18, 2011
    50
    The King Is Dead clings so closely to formula that it doesn't sound like homage or even truth; it sounds like the studious but unconvincing work of an extremely gifted mimic.
  5. 40
    At least once they had a snappy poetic sensibility and an admirable interest in history. Unfortunately, now they are pure turgid Americana pastiche.
  6. Jan 7, 2011
    40
    The end result is a tepid, lifeless album devoid of everything that we've come to expect from them in this part of their career, leaving only the most traditional aspects of their sound intact.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 71 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Jan 19, 2011
    9
    Well, The Decemberists new release, "The King Is Dead", is a countrified- folk rock wonder. This album is just fantastic. After the first fewWell, The Decemberists new release, "The King Is Dead", is a countrified- folk rock wonder. This album is just fantastic. After the first few seconds I was reminded of Tarkio, an alternative country band that Colin Meloy headed before The Decemberists. A fantastic album, not a single weak track on it. Full Review »
  2. Jan 24, 2011
    9
    If you're already a Decemberists fan you probably don't need any convincing that this album is a great investment of time. It feels like aIf you're already a Decemberists fan you probably don't need any convincing that this album is a great investment of time. It feels like a step backwards, returning to a more "Picaresque" sensibility with a country music twist but while they have stylistically stepped back they have creatively stepped forward. It almost feels like a concept album tied together with "seasonal" songs but it isn't quite, it all just fits together so well you want it to be though. A great album if you love the Decemberists and if you don't then maybe this is where you should give them another chance. Full Review »
  3. Jan 22, 2011
    10
    This is an awesome album. One of my favorites from The Decemberists. They finally switched up their genre and the rock/pop feeling they go forThis is an awesome album. One of my favorites from The Decemberists. They finally switched up their genre and the rock/pop feeling they go for is nailed perfectly. There is no weak track in this entire album and is worth every cent. Buy it. Full Review »