Castaways and Cutouts, the Decemberists' debut, was appealing for its plain uniqueness. It broke no barriers, but it was melodically and structurally precise, alluring on some base music-nerd level. From there, things got a little crazy. The band has since flirted with over-the-topness, delivering painfully dramatic concept albums like 2009's The Hazards of Love. The weightless, country-informed The King is Dead is free from such thematic constraints. There's a load-off-shoulders sort of feeling about King, the sound of a band remembering why it got into this music thing in the first place. The album lays its influences bare: Tom Petty ("Don't Carry It All"), Neil Young ("Down By the Water"), R.E.M. ("Calamity Song," featuring one Peter Buck), and Bill Monroe (much of the rest of the album). But it also manages to transcend them - a spectacular feat, considering the canonical ubiquity of the source material. Hear that? It's the glorious sound of a band rediscovering itself. (4 out of 5 stars)
"your favorite local atlanta band sucks"
Thanks for reading, and thanks for the catch!
Tues, Dec 31st. Not 21st.
Innovative & fresh sound !!!
Too many memories. I remember we were smoking meth on the back patio and a…