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Decemberists Lose Only A Bit Of Indie-label Charm

Decemberists Lose Only A Bit Of Indie-label Charm

Daily Nebraskan (U. Nebraska)

(U-WIRE) LINCOLN, Neb. – The horror! As any Decemberists fan knows by now, the band made the jump from indie label Kill Rock Stars to major label Capitol after the success of its last release “Picaresque.”

As “true” indie fans can attest, the jump to a major label can be fatal for the quality of the music we’ve all grown to know and love from past offerings. Needless to say, Decemberists fans were apprehensive in waiting for “The Crane Wife” to be released.

After a few listens, I can’t say I hear too much of a major label influence. The album doesn’t seem overly produced, and the band wasn’t forced to trim all of its songs to fit into what is considered a radio-friendly amount of time. Two songs on the album clock in at more than 11 minutes.

Colin Meloy is still up to his usual shenanigans in telling stories, and the band hasn’t forgotten how to bring in a multitude of instruments to help weird-out the music.

But other than “O, Valencia,” I don’t hear anything else that could be considered a single. It’s hard to generate sales without those kinds of songs, which “Picaresque” seemed to have quite a few of.

Fortunately, as fans, we’re not worried about how album sales affect a band’s standing with a label, and hopefully The Decemberists aren’t worrying about that much either.

“The Crane Wife” is a solid album, but it’s nothing spectacular. And while I’m personally enjoying the progressive-rock goodness of “The Perfect Crime,” it’s nothing wholly original.