NY Post: The Decemberists win 2011’s ‘First Must Have CD’ Award


Rave reviews rolling in on the latest from The Decemberists, “The King is Dead”. Rolling Stone gives it 4 stars, and NY Post says it’s 2011’a “First Must Have CD”. Hear some of the tunes on this video, read some articles too. “The Decemberists ‘The King is Dead’ album is brilliant – PopWrap.”

Most of The Decemberists’ fans have been around since day one; following their ambitious and rustic journey through five thematic albums. With the upcoming release of their sixth and most commercial sounding CD, “The King is Dead,” the Oregon-based fivesome may find themselves under more spotlights than they will know what to do with.

Either way, this new release is bound to appease both the hardcore December-ites and those who are exclaiming, for the first time, “who sings this song!”

After a flurry of Decemberists-based text messages last night, I realized that Jarett and I hadn’t really shared this kind of effusive love for an album since The Gossip’s 2009 “Music for Men.” Granted we both adopt a lot of the same musical infatuations, but to absolutely adore a set of songs — from start to finish — is nearly unheard of.

Each track on the new country-folk Decemberists release is like a childhood memory randomly creeping its way to the surface. The fiddles and freshly poignant lyrics in the songs “Rox in the Box” and “Down by the Water” lay out the vision the band hoped for with this LP: “to return to the reason why they started making music in the first place.”

Which I guess explains the help from R.E.M.’s Peter Buck on three of “The King is Dead’s” tracks.

Recorded in a barn, on a farm, outside of Portland, the ten-track set plays out as just that. Simple storytelling singles, each as individual as the names they are given. Which could be a huge surprise to their true fans, who are use to more cerebral and orchestraic records that flow like chapters in a Dickens’ novel.

Cultural Resolutions
In the Chinese calendar, 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit, which is predicted to be a peaceful year, conducive to artistic pursuits. (It also is an auspicious year for thinking, study and investment.) That should bode well for the dozens of sensitive, creative artists who shared with us their goals for the coming year.
Colin Meloy, singer-songwriter of the Decemberists, author of ‘Wildwood,’ a book for middle-grade students

I’ll be pretty evenly dividing my time between the Decemberists and working on the second book. I have some ideas formulating, but I’ve yet to put pen to paper. The first book is coming out in the fall of 2011, shortly after the tour cycle ends for the new album “The King Is Dead.” I’ll have to try to match my promised output with reality. Certainly compared to “The Hazard of Love,” where we did the whole record from start to finish, the tour won’t be as orchestrated. It’d be like the shows we’ve mostly done in the past: a collection of new songs plus an overview of our entire output.

I’m kind of a compulsively creative person. I’m most happy when I’m making something. I would prefer that to going skiing or on vacation.