Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Wanting Comes in Waves

A few weeks back, my pal Kristin hounded me to download the latest album from the Decemberists, "The Hazards of Love." I did, and . . . oh man. I think I already have my pick for album of the year. Instant love. I'd describe it as a folk/acoustic mix, blending Kings of Leon, early Radiohead or Oasis, Damien Rice, and then a pinch of Jethero Tull.

Before you start sampling 30-second previews from itunes, you have to realize a couple of cool things about this album. First, many songs change drastically, so those previews might be misleading. Second, each song blends harmoniously into the next, thus creating the type of album we haven't seen since the days of classic rock (think Floyd). And the reason is because the entire record tells one story.* It's a fun story too about forbidden love, and like a Broadway show, the characters in the tale sing their emotions complete with duets and reprises. It. Is. Great. I love driving because it's an excuse to listen to this CD, from the start, yet again. I don't know about you but I find a disc like that once maybe every 2 or 3 years. So this is my high recommendation for my readers. I'll be seeing the Decemberists in Radio City this summer and I haven't been this excited about a concert in a long time.

*A woman named Margaret falls in love with a shape-shifting forest dweller. A jealous forest queen and an ensemble of recurring characters bring conflict to the album's story arc.

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