The Decemberists
I’ll Be Your Girl


3.0
good


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Middle of the side of the road.

There is a common theory that every single artist of any kind at some point hits a career low, i.e. a point of absolute creative and/or financial decay. Such a point, in which even the biggest, most devoted fans can agree that the presented work is indeed a misstep. But how does one measure such phenomenon within the boundaries of an artist that has either never hit any particular high, or in the Decemberists’ case has been continuously declining into the pit of sameness and musical oblivion"

On its surface, I’ll Be Your Girl features all the usual Decemberists merit and musical aspects everyone grew to accept and expect in their music. It is distantly whimsical and often reaches a vague fantasy levels in its lyrics. The instrumental arrangement is vast enough to keep the music from turning repetitive and the song-writing tends to delve into the simplistic, samey and easily charming territories. But that is the surface level. If you indeed need mere pretty melodies and serviceable execution to do the trick for you, then I’ll Be Your Girl might as well end up being your album of the year.

For the most part, the lyrical weight of the album relies entirely on banal themes of superficial sentimental feelings pondered through simplistic poeticism that repeats itself and feels more like a formality, a means of adding vocals for at least some reason. The production however breaks the simplicity, what with its sonic drilling and slightly lo-fi dissonance. On songs like “Your Ghost” that even turns into a certain smile-inducing quirk, while on something like “Sucker’s Prayer” the mixture of cute acoustics and sudden fuzzy guitar riffs just comes off as awkward, not to mention in combination with the already trivial song structure. The sound mixing then also moderately desecrates and makes just plain off-putting “We All Die Young”, whose saxophone addition serves as nothing more than a headache initiator.

Going back to the question from the first paragraph: Might this be the universally accepted low of the Decemberists’ career" Not likely. The band managed to find themselves a flexible spot in the middle, where whoever likes it beforehand will like it after and whoever gave up albums ahead will only solidify his sceptical stance. It is just a project to fill the spaces. It just work, nothing above that.



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user ratings (84)
Chart.
2.8
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Papa Universe
March 22nd 2018


20136 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

remember the days when a new Decemberists album caused a stampede?

Digging: Pedigree - New Freak

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2018


15112 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Couple of good tracks but overall bland af. Good write up Uni. I'll be your (first) pos.

Digging: Deafkids - Metaprogramao

Papa Universe
March 22nd 2018


20136 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

aw you

butcherboy
March 22nd 2018


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

i'll be your second pos.. and they never caused a stampede because dang hippies in organic moccasins don't stomp so good..

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2018


9386 Comments


and they never caused a stampede because dang hippies in organic moccasins don't stomp so good


Actually lol'd

Pos'd Papa

DinosaurJones
March 22nd 2018


10036 Comments


I like the Decemberists, but I don't know if I've ever been excited for the Decemberists.

Pos'd, btw.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2018


15210 Comments


sweet rev papa. pos blad

theBoneyKing
March 22nd 2018


16163 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Alas, ya got to it before I did. Love this band to death but this is their first disappointing album.

Digging: Modest Mouse - The Moon & Antarctica

theBoneyKing
March 22nd 2018


16163 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review, I agree with most of your points about the album itself though I disagree with what you say about the band in general - imo up till now they’ve been one of the most consistent bands of the millennium and there hasn’t even been a general decline to this - The King Is Dead from 2011 is their career height for me.

SowingSeason
Moderator
March 22nd 2018


29917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.1 | Sound Off

not sure why everyone dislikes this. it doesn't have the same personality as their last two americana-influenced records, but this is way catchier and a lot more fun...very few tracks are skippable.

Papa Universe
March 22nd 2018


20136 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

To each their own, I s'pose, SnowingSeason...

Papa Universe
March 22nd 2018


20136 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

(get it? Cause it's snowing in December...)

theBoneyKing
March 22nd 2018


16163 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sowing, my problem is not so much with style as execution. Several of these songs are just really lazily written and even - I though I would never say this about a Decemberists song - bad (We All Die Young and Tripping Along - ugh). The heights (Once in My Life, Sucker’s Prayer, and especially Rusalka, Rusalka / The Wild Rushes) are really strong, and most of the rest are decent enough, but it’s too inconsistent overall to call it a great album.

theNateman
March 22nd 2018


3611 Comments


You're --> your, at the end of second paragraph

Good review. I feel like I should like these guys, but I don't

Papa Universe
March 22nd 2018


20136 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good fucking goddamn measly nasally honky bloody cunting shitty deadly smelly god, how did i let that slip by? good catch, Nate

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2018


8885 Comments


Brief and to the point. Well done Papa

Digging: Ni - Pantophobie

AngryJohnny
March 22nd 2018


889 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah nice review man



Must have been hard to find anything to write about this at all

SowingSeason
Moderator
March 22nd 2018


29917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.1 | Sound Off

That's fair enough Boney. I don't disagree with that you're saying, so I guess I just rate more liberally.

WatchItExplode
March 22nd 2018


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

As thrilled as I was to have something more eccentric from this crew I don't want it at the cost of songwriting. Several of these tunes are just too basic for their own good. I agree that this is a more immediate and fun album than the last two but lacks the substance of that output.



Your Ghost is a total jam though, loved that track.

TwigTW
March 22nd 2018


3667 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I do like this album, but half the reason is that I've given up on another Picaresque or Her Majesties The Decemberists. I mean, these guys are middle-aged parents now. At the end of a show, they bring all their kids out on the stage and have a big sing-a-long with the audience (which, I suspect, is why We All Die Young is on here).

Digging: Jungstotter - Love Is



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