Album review

The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

Perhaps the most literate of the current crop of four-eyed front-geeks, Colin Meloy enjoys applying his wry wit to arcane subject matter, like the Japanese folk tale from which he’s derived The Crane Wife’s three-part title suite.

The Oregon band’s fourth full-length, a real grower, finds Meloy and his muscle – guitarist (etc) Chris Funk, who pulverises tweeness in a stroke, and a drummer named Moon (first name John) – twisting the esoteric into arresting and complex new shapes.

The immediate grabber is “The Perfect Crime #2”, a gleeful rave-up that picks up where “Life During Wartime” left off, adding liberal doses of irony-free high-hat and cowbells.

BUD SCOPPA

Rating: 4 / 10

(Capitol)


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Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...