The Decemberists’ 2003 album ‘Your Majesty’ had been sitting forlorn and unplayed in my itunes for some time – a result of gleaning all my mate’s music on to my computer… which mate, remains a mystery – and when I finally got round to listening to it, I wasn’t exactly bowing down to its greatness. It’s a well-acclaimed album, I notice, but there wasn’t enough in their patient story-telling and elongated song-lengths to suitably captivate me.
This meant I was caught well off-guard by their 6th studio album, The King Is Dead, which has reined in the play-times and yet successfully squeezed a far richer and more enterprising sound into these tighter time-frames. And into the mix come welcome royal guests: the fiddle, the accordion, and the harmonica.
Basically, The Decemberists have gone country-folk, which makes it all the more surprising that I’m enjoying it so much. What I put it down to is, despite the grand orchestral ethos of the album, there being a stronger determination on getting those all important hooks just right.
And the result? 10 sumptuous tracks, a flowing 40 minute run-time, and an unlikely charmer of an album. So, I apologise to ‘Your Majesty’, but, The King Is Dead… long live the King!
Ch-Check it out if you’re partial to – Folk music, country music, Frank Turner, BRMC’s ‘Howl’, gorgeous melody, soaring balladry and slight tweakings to Smiths album titles
Fantastic Track – Calamity Song