ALBUM REVIEW: The Decemberists

Indie-folk rock band The Decemberists, on the heels of their 2011 World Tour, released a 20-track, two-disc live LP. Songs were taken from 12 of the band’s shows, the last of which was played in their hometown of Portland, Ore.

Featuring songs from the band’s six previous albums and numerous EPs, each track is perfectly orchestrated and at times sounds better than studio recordings.

Front man Colin Meloy comes across as charismatic, joking with the audience in between songs. The rest of the band acts as the perfect complement to Meloy and is equally as playful.

Each track flows smoothly to the next and, at some points, the experience is similar to physically being in the venue.

“The Mariner’s Revenge Song” is one of the album’s standouts. The band’s instrumentation is far from subpar, and each instrument seems to come to life. At one point of the song Meloy even asks for crowd participation, and the audience makes whale noises similar to those heard on the album version when the song’s hero is swallowed by the animal.

“We All Go Down Together” is another track worth listening to.

The only downside to the album is that it is a little lengthy, which is natural for a live LP. Needless to say, a person might find it a little difficult to get through the whole thing in one listen.

The album proves to be some of the group’s best material yet and is worth the listen, and is a solid three out of four stars.

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