CD Review- The Decemberists: The Hazards of Love | Sound Stories & Interviews | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Search
Settings
Pin It
Favorite

CD Review- The Decemberists: The Hazards of Love 

The Decemberists

The Hazards of Love

Columbia Records

This is how Decemberists front man Colin Meloy described the Portland band's new record, The Hazards of Love, a few months ago: "...the tale of a woman named Margaret who is ravaged by a shape-shifting animal; her lover, William; a forest queen; and a cold-blooded, lascivious rake, who recounts with spine-tingling ease how he came to be living so easy and free."


Although eloquent and employing a masterful use of semicolons, the description gave little indication of what we were likely to hear on the follow up to 2006's groundbreaking The Crane Wife, which itself was based on a Japanese folk tale. But Hazards, which was released on Capitol records this week, is about an eighth as goofy as Meloy's description and probably about twice as heavy as anything the previously folky and often poppy band has released. The record ties 17 tracks - four of which bear the album's title - together with consistently dark themes and the familiar storytelling whimsy that has always been a Decemberists hallmark. And they do so without any shades of corniness, which isn't always easy when crafting a rock opera.

Meloy shares vocal duties with Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond and Becky Stark from Lavendar Diamond, both of whom play "characters" in the story. Stark appears early on the record, leading the surging and slightly creepy "Won't Wait for Love" that bleeds into "Hazards of Love 2 (Wager All)," which although weirdly haunting, is probably as close to Meloy comes to harkening back to the lighter sounds of The Crane Wife, on this album. "The Rake's Song" gives a taste of the band's rarely seen aggressive side and is a pleasant taste of the energy these tracks will bring to the band's live shows this summer.

But Hazards is best enjoyed en whole. It is, in essence, a piece of theater and there aren't many tracks that stand out on their own, yet somehow these cuts gel within the context of Meloy's greater vision. And it's a vision that it seems could only happen in the strange world of the Decemberists.

Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of On Stage

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Artist Fact Sheet: Keith Harkin

    Artist Fact Sheet: Keith Harkin

    The Irishman brings his well-rounded abilities to Bend
    • Sep 11, 2019
  • Triple Whammy

    Triple Whammy

    Eric Leadbetter helps bring joy to the music scene, food industry and hospital workers with the St. Charles Meal Mission
    • Jun 1, 2020
Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Central Oregon Locavore Holiday Gift Faire

Central Oregon Locavore Holiday Gift Faire - Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Through Dec. 8
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social


Latest in Sound Stories & Interviews

  • Pete Kartsounes Steps into New Age

    • Nov 18, 2020
    The Bend artist's second album of the year will help relax mind, body and soul More »
  • Modern-Day Payola?

    • Nov 11, 2020
    Local artists say Spotify's recent announcement to give artist and labels paid promotion isn't a cool feature; it's harmful to the industry and those listening More »
  • New on the Bend-Block

    • Nov 4, 2020
    Faded Rituals makes its electronic-music debut with "Summertime Forever" More »
  • More »

More by The Source Staff

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2020 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation