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Zion I
ZZ Top
Artist: The Decemberists
Label: Kill Rock Stars
Genre: Indie Rock
Release: Jan 2002   My Rating: 0
Duration: 49:55
Summary: This album is the total package that 1 looks for in an album. First, musically, it's pop music, but a different kind of pop. Kind of like the Beatles doing Sea Chantys of the mid 1800's. Lyrically it follows many of these same themes. It is interesting to note that Collin Meloy, the lead singer, wanted to be a novelist before forming the band, and it shows with the lyrics. Every song tells a story that is humorous, ironic, and heart wrenching in every way imaginable. It truly takes the listener along for an experience; a rarity these days, when everyone is so concerned with death and trying to be serious, then getting in the way. Overall, a great buy, and soon to become revered as a classic.


Artist: The Decemberists
Label: Kill Rock Stars
Genre: Indie
Release: Jan 2003   My Rating: 0
Duration: 48:27
Summary: Failing students have had such an influential role in shaping rock & roll that it's easy to give the bookworm segment short shrift. Witness the vital contributions from the likes of Ray Davies, the Zombies, and Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Magnum--the kind of smartypants songwriters with whom the Decemberists' Colin Meloy is often compared. The second full-length CD from Portland, Oregon's Decemberists certainly posits Meloy near the top of the current crop of literate indie rockers. Meloy is the brother of author Maile Meloy and a fellow whom one concludes has his own well-worn library card. Eschewing conventional pop-song subject matter, he delves deep into the past for his narratives and even his lexicon, witness "Shanty for the Arethusa," the high-seas opener, and "The Chimbley Sweep," which recalls the Zombies' similarly dark-hued "Butcher's Tale." Though the subject matter is frequently dire and the approach is lyrically erudite, one shouldn't conclude that listening to "Her Majesty" is the aural equivalent of wading through some dusty tome. Bright pop melodies, smart arrangements, and Meloy's commanding vocals adorn songs that are as inviting as they are astute and evocative. "--Steven Stolder"


Artist: The Decemberists
Label: Kill Rock Stars
Genre: Indie Rock
Release: Jan 2005   My Rating: 0
Duration: 53:25
Summary: "Picaresque" is yet more proof that the Decemberists' Colin Meloy is the songwriter who loves love—especially when it ends in death, ("We Both Go Down Together," "Of Angels and Angles"), disease ("The Mariner's Revenge Song") or in some other tragic way. This CD spends some time in the band's familiar old Europe setting, although Meloy also touches on politics, espionage, and even soccer. (Proving he knows his fan base, Meloy's "The Sporting Life," is the perfect shout-out to the kids who preferred the library to the gym.) Long-time fans will know what to expect from this album, which compares favorably to the other LPs on their catalog, and with Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla on board as producer, the band seems poised to reach the greater audience they deserve. If you're not already a listener, don't wait another second to become one. With their remarkable vocabulary and bawdy-yet-literary imagery, the Decemberists are guaranteed to make you smarter even as they make you weep. Pop this in your CD player, grab a dictionary, rock and learn."--Leah Weathersby"