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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The 35th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs...