June 22, 2010

The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love

Yes! An album that tells a story, and rocks out loud, too! It's basically like an hour long musical that has non-stop music and no pictures. The Decemberists have been known for their intelligent, poetic lyrics, from their first album Her Majesty The Decemberists up, but this goes the extra mile. Keeping up a decent plot line too? I'm impressed. Basically it tells the tale of a young woman named Margaret (sung by Becky Starks) and her one true love William (sung by Colin Meloy), who is also a shape-shifter living in the woods. Actually at the beginning, he's a fawn. And after discovering she's pregnant, she sets off for the deep forest to find him. However, an evil and jealous queen (sung by Shara Worden) threatens their love by capturing Margaret, and the story goes on from there. Don't worry. I won't spoil the ending. Gosh, it sounds just like a movie. That's what I love about it! The album also has four scattered tracks all entitled The Hazards of Love, which i guess is what the plot's getting at here. Each take a different twist on the style of just a simple melody. My personal favorite is the first. The third one is just kind of creepy. My other favorite song on the album is The Wanting Comes In Waves/Repaid, because it just goes from this kind of desperate/wanting cry from William to have just one night with his love, filled with a strong base of harpsichord in the background, to this totally awesome, 70's sounding Rock ballad sung beautifully by, yes, the evil bitch queen. She really wreaks havoc with her powerful, shaky, and soulful voice. But she's angry, you have to remember that. "From cancer I cradled you, and now this is how I am repaid?!" she wails. I guess this William is the son of the queen. I'm not sure, though. I'm just kind of picking up bits and pieces of this record as i listen to it more and more. But I don't see why she would be unhappy that he finally has a woman in his life. I mean, come on. I hope he's not, like, 35, and still living with her until he finally finds a job. Well, I haven't got it all figured out yet, but I shall soon. After another couple listens, maybe. But as an album, it's definitely something to talk about. 7.5 out of 10 stars.


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