The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
My Thoughts: Love (<) +
I have never been a huge fan of the Decemberists, though I have always admired their work. Their ability is undeniable, but their songs, for me, never really got past the Charming mark. The Hazards of Love is their first magnificent album, in my opinion. There are no pop songs on this record, so it's a little hard to get addicted to, but after a few listens, and once I had a good grasp on the story, I found myself singing it while listening to other records. Now that's infectious.
It is a rock opera. Some people don't like that sort of thing, but I don't think there are rock operas out there that are like this one. I've heard my share of them, being deeply interested in the genre in my teen's, and I can safely say that this is in a realm of it's own, as far as I'm considered.
I had a friend say that he didn't like it because it didn't really sound like the Decemberists, and I have to say I agree with him. It does sound like the Decemberists made the album, but it is a step in a different direction for them, especially when considering the direction they seemed to be going with the last 3 albums. That said, I think the album is truly fantastic. And the guest spots with My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, and Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond bring the album to instant classic in my mind. Truly stunning.
The Decemberists - The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid
The Decemberists - The Rake's Song
The Decemberists - The Queen's Rebuke/The Crossing