MojoMar 5, 2018The Decemberists' ace and absorbing eighth album is rather more traditionalist than they're letting on. [Apr 2018, p.88]
MagnetApr 17, 2018What it's missing is haunting songs--calamity songs, the kind of songs that used to proliferate on Decemberists albums like soot-smudged Victorian orphans. [No. 150, p.49]
Mar 16, 2018The Decemberists do a very particular thing – darkly ornate, literary-minded, self-consciously verbose Anglophile prog-folk-rock--exceedingly well, so well that you can't blame 'em for wanting to do something else. They do just that on I'll Be Your Girl, at least in parts, the upshot being, well, a re-affirmation of that particular thing they do exceedingly well.
Mar 22, 2018______________________Girl or boy, The Decemberists have been there to drape a drunken arm around in the absence of fortune for the best part______________________Girl or boy, The Decemberists have been there to drape a drunken arm around in the absence of fortune for the best part of 15 years now. The good news is, the tone in that arm is firmly set again. A genuine and welcome joyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ________________________… Expand
May 5, 2018They hit their high point with "The King Is Dead," but this one isn't too far off. This one has a lot of electronic sound added to the mix,They hit their high point with "The King Is Dead," but this one isn't too far off. This one has a lot of electronic sound added to the mix, which has some positive and negative results. In one respect, this is a fresh new direction for the band that brings a more modern sound to the music. On the other hand, some of the songs are absolutely ruined by adding annoying synth that feels like it was added specifically to be grating and in your face. Lyrically they are one of the best groups out there, and that hasn't changed with this one. Many of the songs also feature fantastic, real harmonies that many groups just aren't talented enough to pull off. Highlights of the album include the Beatles-inspired "Sucker's Prayer," the electronic-sounding "Severed," and the classically Decemberist "Rusalka Rusalka." If you like these songs, then maybe the album is worth a buy for you. I personally found the album to worth buying for the best songs. However, the lows of the album are quite low, which is why I don't put it alongside "King Is Dead."… Expand
Sep 6, 2018Although they did not reinvent themselves and did not make a great evolutionary leap, the band took a new approach and it turned out prettyAlthough they did not reinvent themselves and did not make a great evolutionary leap, the band took a new approach and it turned out pretty well.
Few bands can do so while retaining their identity and they did it.… Expand
Mar 16, 2018Underneath the fresh veneer of glam rock are some pretty average-sounding Decemberists songs. A few of the tracks, "Once In My Life," "YourUnderneath the fresh veneer of glam rock are some pretty average-sounding Decemberists songs. A few of the tracks, "Once In My Life," "Your Ghost," and "Everything Is Awful," are among the least substantial of the band's recordings. "Rusalka, Rusalka/Wild Rushes," as the critics have noted, is the standout, and there are some other genuinely enjoyable songs to be found, but at least half of it is forgettable.… Expand
Apr 11, 2018I'll Be Your Girl sounds like a perfect album to listen to on the road. The eighth studio work of The Decemberists group is tense andI'll Be Your Girl sounds like a perfect album to listen to on the road. The eighth studio work of The Decemberists group is tense and energetic, sometimes redundant, but that does not mean it's a bad job. Launched on the Capitol's seal and under the wings of John Congleton, the group reinvents itself in the idea of minimizing to maximize and with some influences and references across the lines.
With a methodical and extremely traditional production ("We All Die Young" is a rare exception) the work is marked by a firmness and clarity that stand out even more than the originality of the record. The guitar-bass-drums set always executed in a pattern that evoke the golden American folk-rock era coupled with the blend of male solid vocals in contrast to female sweet vocals form a beautiful ensemble and despite the discrete synthesizer, stands out in the midst of so much interference, the work is remembered by this serious sound, but not intimidating.
The compositions present themselves in a confusing set that sometimes leaves something to be desired. Repetitive lyrics and with little evolution hinder and no matter how good compositions are, they are buried by those who are only medium and that is one of the great errors of this work. Tracks like "We All Die Young" and "Everything Is Awful" are examples of this: not exactly bad but also not so good, just too immature for a long time group on the market. In contrast, "Tripping Alone", one of the great moments of the record, should serve as the basis for and reference behind this work. Another highlight is "Rusalka, Rusalka / Wild Rushes" a two-part song about a romance with a mermaid that ends up having a tragic end.
In a conflict between good production, which is not so original but still good, and a weak lyric part, The Decemberists has managed to perform audible work where even the worst tracks are meant to sing during the show.… Expand
Mar 24, 2018Sometimes bands and artists have to evolve their sound in order to sound fresh and relevant. Yeah you could pull an AC/DC and copy a simpleSometimes bands and artists have to evolve their sound in order to sound fresh and relevant. Yeah you could pull an AC/DC and copy a simple formula, but you know what your fans want. The Decemberists have a very easy sound, a quant fusion of indie rock, folk, baroque, and Americana. Their first four albums are arguably among the best indie records of the 2000s. However after the Hazards of Love, the band had a hard time trying to find their foothold. And their latest album, I'll Be Your Girl, is by fair their weakest. Much like their last album, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, it is a blended mix of sonic sounds. The first track, Once in My Life, is a good opener, beginning with some gentle folk music, before exploding into an awkward attempt at synthpop. While the synth sounds doesn't stay consistent, it does set the stage for the awkward experimentation and concessions to a more mainstream alternative sound. While the band never had a very challenging sound, they lost a lot of their flavor and personality with their attempts at the recent 80s-new wave revival going on in indie with songs like Once in My Life and Starwatcher. Then there are some truly exceptionally bad songs, like the awkward outlaw country tune Your Ghost, the flat out pandering Everything is Awful that tries for a political point but just falls flat on it's face, or the horrid mix of the Black Keys and one of John Lennon's poppier songs like Whatever Get You Through the Night on We All Die Young, this is the Decemberists at an identity crisis. There are a few good songs here, Rusalka, Rusalka/Wild Rushes is a classic epic Decemberists number you would find on Pictaresque or the Crane Wife, Cutting Stone is a decent blend of their folk sound with synths, and Severed is a grower when you look past the synths and the terrible vocal mixing of Colin Meloy. This album reminds me a lot of the last Avett Brothers album, an awkward and at times downright awful attempt at trying to recapture whatever mainstream audience they have gained with concessions to their signature sound instead of playing to their strengths and sticking to what comes naturally to them. Sure they won't be critical darlings among the indie blogosphere, but at least they aren't alienating their core fanbases and failing to gain any newer audiences from the fickle mainstream.… Expand
May 19, 2018First and foremost, props for including 80s syths into their music. There was a handful of songs I did enjoy on the album. I had never reallyFirst and foremost, props for including 80s syths into their music. There was a handful of songs I did enjoy on the album. I had never really listened to this band until I heard severed on our new indie station here. Then i listened to past records and the current one (the current one first of course)
With that said I have to say this album was a huge letdown overall. It felt like they threw it together really quick without much thought. They had lots of filler on this to combat the bigger "hit" Severed. (although in today's day and age it's not really a "hit" unless it plays on the mixed genre stations or the pop stations)
I was absolutely let down by this album.… Expand
Published: March 14, 2018Listen to tracks from this spring's most-anticipated albums, including new releases from Janelle Monáe, Courtney Barnett, Beach House, Yo La Tengo, A Perfect Circle, The Decemberists, Kacey Musgraves, Jack White, and more.
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