Artist: The Decemberists
Album: The Crane Wife
Label: Capitol Records
Release Date: October 3rd, 2006
If ever there was an album I wasnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t expecting to listen to, and even less expecting to praise it as the amazing record that it is, then it would be Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”The Crane WifeÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? from The Decemberists. Let me go back and say that I had heard that this record was coming out, but from my past experiences with The Decemberists I was not interested in this at all. My view of the band before was that they were talented, but just slow, dark, and boring. Well like I usually am when I judge a record before I hear it, I was wrong about Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”The Crane WifeÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? It is definitely one of the best works released this year.
I was trying to think of a way to describe this album, and over and over again only one word kept coming to mind, and however dangerous it may be to define a complex release with only one word, thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s what IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m going to do. Melody is what describes this record, the melody is what sticks out on Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”The Crane WifeÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬?, and the melody is what grabs you in the seemingly simple songs. This is proved by the very first song Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”the crane wife 3Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬?, which if you are not hooked, or at least intrigued in the first minute of the first song, then there is a good chance that this gem of a record is not for you.
IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve heard from people and can tell that this CD is a different direction for The Decemberists but not really being interested before IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m not too familiar and so I wonÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t try and explain the difference between this and their previous works. Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”The Crane WifeÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? is a breezy, light, folk album with deep and complex lyrics. On first listen the lyrics may be passed by just because of the melody they float on. The best example would be the last song Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Sons and DaughtersÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? with the foot tapping, almost bouncy feel, yet its deep political message. In a couple of songs the electric guitars are brought out Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”The Perfect Crime 2Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? and Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”When The War CameÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? yet those songs never feel out of place on this otherwise acoustic album.
This album should be heard by everyone whether or not you have been a fan of this band in the past. It is one of those albums (for me at least) that literally came out of nowhere and shocked me with how amazing it was.
1. The Crane Wife 3
2. The Island-Come & See/The LandlordÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s Daughter/YouÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ll Not Feel The Drowning
3. Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)
4. O Valencia!
5. The Perfect Crime #2
6. When The War Came
7. Shankhill Butchers
9. The Crane Wife 1 and 2
10. Sons and Daughters
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