Review Summary: The music produced by The Decemberists, most notably on the album The Picaresque, is unique with instruments that are sure to please.
The Decemberists: The Picaresque
When it comes to today's music, it has become increasingly obvious that bands have lost sight of what is most important. Focusing on "hit songs", leaving the rest of the album to suffer, is a growing trend that is crippling the once sacred music industry. The Decemberists
, however, do just the opposite in their 2005 album, The Picaresque. Lead singer Collin Meloy and his multi-talented band redefine music and give hope to people that good tunes still exists.
During this hour-long masterpiece, it's nothing short of brilliant. Each song works with each other beautifully to form a story that offers a chance for you to lose yourself in. The many instruments, range from Meloy’s commonly used harmonica, to organs, accordions and my favorite, the piano. It allows the listener to experience these rare sounds and is just one of the many treats The Decemberists
has incorporated throughout their music. This also helps set the band apart from the many popular "artists" that plague the industry.
When you listen to the album The Picaresque, it may seem as if the songs blend into one very long track. At times it also becomes tough to distinguish the beginning or end of each song without having paid attention. This is no accident. The Decemberists
like to depict historical events throughout their music, and thrive on basing the entire album around a story line. It is an absolute brilliant idea. Being able to pop in the disc and just sit back and listen to every song without skipping a track is a rarity that should be cherished and I commend them for that.
Now, that’s not to say that the songs don’t sound good without their supporting tracks or that there aren't “hit songs” within each album because that’s just not the case. When the tracks are listened to individually all of the magic is still present in the songs giving the listener the same beauty that resides within the whole. On top of all that, the band’s sound, in which you grow to love, stays very consistent throughout their seven albums that were produced. The Decemberists
definitely deserve some credit for their ability to create such cohesive albums.
Having been around for more than a decade, the band has just recently been recognized by the “mainstream” industry. Being played on the radio after the release of their 2011 album The King is Dead, only brought more praise to the band. The album was number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 along with the track “Down by the Water” being nominated for a Grammy that same year.
There’s no denying the brilliance and beauty that these people can create and I’m honored to have had the chance to experience their art.