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The Decemberists 

The King is Dead (Capitol)

The Decemberists’ sixth album, The King is Dead, almost feels like a challenge to the band’s detractors: “Alright, haters, how about we make an album that jettisons nearly all the things that you find annoying about us? No concept album conceits, no sea shantys...what will you do then?” Even as someone who kinda dug the concepts and shantys (though The Hazards of Love was a bit much), it’s nice to hear Colin Meloy demonstrate that, yes, he is a pretty great songwriter and, yes, The Decemberists can strip down to a Gram-Parsons-meets-REM core and still make a pretty great album.


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