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The Decemberists - The Crane Wife - Capitol

The Decemberists' major label debut is a wonderful example of a band expanding its' fan base without forgetting what got them here in the first place. The Crane Wife is a multi-faceted, highly enjoyable gem of a record that sounds like will it get better with every listen.

Lead singer COLIN MELOY is a distinctive frontman and engaging songwriter. Loosely based on a tragic Japanese folk tale, The Crane Wife boasts a number of smart (but hummable) tunes. Comparing songs like "O Valencia" and "The Perfect Crime 2" show just how wide of a stylistic range this band is capeable of (and comfortable with). Artsy - but not pretentious - The Decemberists are actually very hard to describe without actually hearing them. With various literary and historical references in the lyrics, and just as many musical touchstones, the band cuts a wide swath for themselves in this age of easily catergorized musical styles.

Perhaps the best thing about The Decemberists is that they don't seem to want to rest on their laurels. They seem like an act that will continue to challenge themselves and their audience, and we'll all the more rewarded for it.

Written by Dan Reed

BUY THIS CD: The Crane Wife

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