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Crane Wife
     

The Crane Wife

by The Decemberists
 

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The Decemberists have carved out a unique aesthetic. Beginning with their first album, 2002's Castaways and Cutouts, Colin Meloy and crew sang in ornate vocabulary of archaic characters; they peopled their albums with child princesses, lusty sailors, and chimney sweeps and set the tales to lilting folk-rock orchestration.

Overview

The Decemberists have carved out a unique aesthetic. Beginning with their first album, 2002's Castaways and Cutouts, Colin Meloy and crew sang in ornate vocabulary of archaic characters; they peopled their albums with child princesses, lusty sailors, and chimney sweeps and set the tales to lilting folk-rock orchestration. Meloy's gift for memorable, lovely melodies made what could be rather precious into something rather brilliant. All those characteristic elements can be found on The Crane Wife (the Portland, Oregon, band's fourth album and first for a major label), but so can some surprises. The nearly 13-minute "The Island" is unabashedly prog-rock: Its multi-part structure, dramatic electric guitar arpeggios, heavy keyboards, and elaborate strings place it in the tradition of hoary bands like Gentle Giant, and it's closer to the Decemberists' 2004 EP The Tain than to anything else in their catalog. "When the War Came," "The Crane Wife 1 and 2," and "The Perfect Crime #2" are similarly weighty and/or extravagant. But The Crane Wife also includes some of the Decemberists' most catchy and accessible pop tunes: "The Crane Wife 3" (based on a Japanese folk tale), the jangly "Oh Valencia!" and the gradually building "Sons and Daughters" may be Meloy's best songs yet. It's good to hear the band expanding their horizons: They had begun to run the risk of niche-marketing to English majors and history buffs.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/17/2006
Label:
Capitol
UPC:
0094635398410
catalogNumber:
53984
Rank:
23450

Tracks

  1. The Crane Wife 3
  2. Medley
  3. Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)
  4. O Valencia!
  5. The Perfect Crime
  6. When the War Came
  7. Shankill Butchers
  8. Summersong
  9. The Crane Wife 1& 2
  10. Sons & Daughters

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