Album Review: The Decemberists – The Hazards Of Love

Album Review: decemberists_hazardsThe Decemberists – The Hazards Of Love [Kill Rock Stars]

SOUNDS LIKE: Bright Eyes meets Led Zeppelin

Although folk-poppers The Decemberists have been doing the rounds for a while, it took until 2006’s ‘The Crane Wife’, their first for Capitol Records, for the band to achieve their deserved level of recognition. Their subsequent success could be an indication of their musical development, or an indictment of the ability of the major label to effectively promote a band, more likely though, it was a combination of the two.

‘The Hazards of Love’ is the band’s follow up to the aforementioned album and it sees the folk-lore obsessed Portland natives attempt to establish a new direction, with the introduction of metal riffs (‘A Bower Scene’) and an overall attempt to achieve a larger sound. Like ‘The Crane Wife’, the new album has a central story-arc and the band use the music to chart the highs and lows of the lovers’ tale, but ‘The Hazards of Love’ lacks the hooks and stand-alone numbers of the band’s previous effort.

The album definitely peaks with ‘The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid’ a six minute epic with a wonderful soaring chorus and more twists than a Dan Brown novel, and while ‘The Rake’s Song’ is a valiantly bitter effort, as a whole, the record fails to live up to its predecessor.

Matt Parker

Available  now.

Written for SoundProof

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