First, let it be known that I’m not a Decemberists fan. In fact, I’m probably what the kids these days call “a hater” when it come to The Decemberists. Through the years they’ve done many things to me. With Picaresque they bored me. On Crane’s Wife, because of all the DBT references the media made, they annoyed me, and truth be told, The Hazards of Love fell on deaf ears (which is a fancy way of saying I’ve never heard it). So, just to underscore the point, I am not now, or ever was in the past, a Decemberists fan.

That said, I am a huge fan of The Decemberists’ new record, The King Is Dead. This thing, despite every misgiving, preconceived notion and prejudice I had going into it, is Essential Listening. It really is a fantastic and catchy album. Who knows, maybe The Decemberists are gonna be my DBT, but in reverse, where I hated the beginning of their career but loved the end. It’s a tad early to know for sure, but I think the kids from the Pacific Northwest hit a grand slam home run with The King Is Dead.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to eat a little bit of crow.

The Decemberists – Down By The Water
The Decemberists – Rox In The Box

The Decemberists Official Site, The Decemberists on Facebook, Buy The King Is Dead


  1. That was good and honest of you. I love the oldest Decemberists the best but thought I’d lost them forever after Hazards of Love. But, I adore this new album. Back to basics plus twang, minus pretention. They are supposedly going on hiatus after this album/tour.

  2. I’ve had two songs from Picaresque on my iPod for about five years now. I always liked the songs but never quite enough to make “the leap” and purchase an entire album. When I bought and listened to “The King is Dead” based off the strength of their first single, I was hooked. The new album is amazing. I also took advantage of the low priced albums iTunes is offering and purchased “Picaresque”, “The Crane Wife”, and “Hazards of Love” as well. I’ve listened to nothing else (pretty much) for going on a week now. I’m hooked. Tremendous band. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to give them a chance. And in my opinion, their pretentious concept album “Hazards of Love” is freaking brilliant.

  3. Thanks Cowbelle. I will get my head around the four I’ve purchased in the last week and I can guarantee you I will get Castaways and Cutouts in the near future.

  4. Been a fan ever since I first heard ‘The Engine Driver”(Picaresque), it’s still a firm favourite. Loved The Hazards of Love too, a superb listen (my #2 album that year). This album is another great release from a great band!

  5. I agree 100%! I just never “got” The Decemberists. And I did try, repeatedly! I really tried to like “The Hazards Of Love”, because I thought the concept was interesting, but I just couldn’t get myself to keep listening to it. That all changed with “The King Is Dead”. I love this record!

  6. They’ve always had a few good songs on each album, minus “The Hazards of Love”. That record was bad. This new album is great all the way through. There really isn’t a bad song on it. Don’t Carry it All, As I Rise, and June Hymn are all flat-out amazing tunes.

  7. I agree, I had tried to get into them figuring that I should like them but it never happened, but then the other week I was in my local music store and they were playing The King is Dead, I didn’t even know who it was at the time but bought it straight away, it certainly is essential listening for me.

  8. I remember hearing the buzz about them, listened to a few songs from different albums (Red Right Ankle in particular, I thought, was a travesty of a recording) and didn’t care for them.

    From what I’ve heard of this album, my opinion may be changing.

  9. just to chime in… i’ve been a staunch fan since Castaways and Cutouts was released on Hush Records… while I strayed with Picaresque and thought they were getting a bit pretentious, The Hazards of Love made me realize my mistake in doubting them… I can understand some folks not digging everything, and even get the love/hate aspect of HOL, but can’t wait to get my hands on this latest!

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