Live albums are a funny old game. Some are great, most are underwhelming and only serve as a souveneir of a great night.
Therefore, it was with some trepidation I purchased this item. As a long standing Decemberists fan who has enjoyed all of their previous long-players, I did not relish the idea of a live album from one of my favourite bands. After such exemplarary studio albums climaxing last year with The King is Dead, surely this could only be a disappointment.
The Bull Moose EP from last year gave me an inkling of what to expect, and although there are some highlights which are worth the entry fee ("The Crane Wife" in the right order for example) I just think this is a release which is treading water.
I cannot fault Colin on releasing this album due to the amazing work he has produced. The Hazards of Love has to be the greatest album of the last 10 years. If anyone deserves to make some money whilst riding the crest of critical and popular acclaim, then it is him.
I am sure that the Decemberists will return in the next few years with a great album of new material to build on their considerable legacy. For completists only.