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The Hazards Of Love

The Decemberists Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Life as a musician means continual evolution. Over the course of a career, any band worth paying attention to will pursue a sound, a direction, until it triggers a different idea and they’re chasing some other distant dream. With their sixth album, The King Is Dead, The Decemberists illustrate the power that comes from this kind of creative call-and-response.
When the band completed ... Read more in Amazon's The Decemberists Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B001LK1LA6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 681,380 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

THE DECEMBERISTS The Hazards Of Love (2009 US issue 17-track CD album which plots an extravagant tale rooted in ancient language and imagery of a woman ravaged by her lover who is able to change his form between animal and man. The result is musically and lyrically rich with elaborate orchestrations that explode like baroque fireworks. The Decemberists are joined on this record by Lavender Diamonds Becky Stark and My Brightest Diamonds Shara Worden plus cameos from Jim James of MyMorning Jacket Robyn Hitchcock and The Spinanes Rebecca Gates. Presented in sealed picture sleeve)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hazards Of Love review 21 Jan 2010
Format:Audio CD
It's nice to read so many positive reviews for this album, particularly those from fans of the first generation of prog-rock fans. The Decemberists certainly seem to have hit the right notes for many with this one. For myself, my first taste of their music was the wonderful Picaresque, which was one of those really special finds that put me in a spin for weeks, just brilliant. Hearing Castaways And Cutouts, after that, was a none-event, unfortunately.

So now I own a copy of The Hazards Of Love, and concur with the masses that this is one audacious album. The music is bright and adventurous, drawing noteably from classic prog-rock, British folk-rock, Americana, the blues, and a hint of early music, throughout the telling of one rather dark tale. If this storyline were made into a film or book you can be sure I'd steer clear, but it is curious that such subject-matter in song-form, at least in the capable hands of folks like The Decemberists, doesn't leave me disturbed and regretting the encounter. There is plenty of light and space here and it is overall much more dignified (in a good way) than you might expect.

I have no problem with Colin Meloy's singing (though my wife did at first), I'm actually reminded of Robin Williamson (Incredible String Band), and it is perfect for these songs. Also akin to Robin Williamson, Colin Meloy is like a magpie collecting curios and decorating a nest, all sorts of shiny fragments that don't really go together in normalville but together in this setting are beautiful. Joining Colin are Sharon Worden - who sings with suitable power, malevolence and contempt as the Queen character - and Becky Stark, singing as Margaret, whose voice is soft and lovely and goes well with Colin's voice, particularly on the charming Isn't It A Lovely Night?.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody bloody great!! 28 Mar 2009
Format:Audio CD
Well...what do you say eh? Despite perhaps others attempts at diminishing this latest epic as pretentious, pomp, meaningless folk/prog/rock ish, I am blown away - as usual!
Lyrically this is unsurpassed - just sit and listen! I love words - I really do! This is poetry and storytelling at it's best, all crafted within a cocoon of gorgeous music. Having discovered the Decemberists a few years ago I have listened with curiosity and growing admiration. The Crane Wife was lovely, haunting, painful to listen to at times but always wonderful. The Hazards of Love is .....probably the best recording of it's genre - is there a genre that encapsulates these guys? I don't know! Anyway vocally with the guest appearances (Shara Worden in particular) this album is beautiful, just beautiful. I don't know of another band that can just do this sort of thing. They are an unlikely bunch... just look at their photos.... but for me (and I know it's always personal with music - it HAS to be) this is a classic. Thanks guys - more of the 'same' - but oh so different. Lovely lovely lovely. Colin Meloy is a genuinely genius songwriter. This a a genuinely genius album.
Try it, don't be deterred by what you may read, get in there, close your eyes and let yourself be sucked in, seduced and sensualised! It's just good good music!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I had read a few reviews.... 19 April 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I had read a few reviews of this release and was a bit skeptical of some of the extravagant claims- but having heard it, it is THE album all Decemberists fans have been waiting for - a fully developed concept album and quite superb with it. My only complaint is I wish it had been a double cd.
A masterpiece from start to finish.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 28 April 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
As with the previous Decemberists albums, this is a well-crafted, imaginative and vivid album. I love the fact that The Decemberists have such a distinctive sound, and yet each album is quite different from the last. All the ingredients are present here - stories, some good rocking parts, fun and menace. It stand up to plenty of listens as well. Thoroughly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hazards? A 'Safe' Bet 22 April 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Hazards of love is getting fave reviews across the board and I can only add to that by giving it 5 starts.
A concept album but that shouldn't put you off. The album winds a thoroughly enjoyable course through the 'Hazards' and takes in a variety of musical styles but never loses sight of a decent tune.
Definately an album for your collection!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a long time fan 15 April 2009
Format:Audio CD
This is a hard album to review because it is very dense, and requires a number of active listening sessions to fully appreciate. I have followed The Decemberists for years now, and I find it thrilling that even after they sign to a major record label they continue to buck the conventions of modern pop music (unlike say, Death Cab for Cutie, who have lost some of their indie rock edge). The Crane Wife was a very ambitious project, and I love that album, but that album is no where near the sheer scope of The Hazards of Love. Hazards is an album that is meant to be played from beginning to end as it conveys a constant and consistent idea. Think The Tain, just much longer, and much more ambitious.

But what really shocks me is that a major record company can release an album with no real radio friendly singles. The only track that comes close is 'The Rake's Song', and the lyrics to that song are too dark and morbid for it to get any real air time. But don't misunderstand, I love the fact that one of my favorite bands continues to evolve and challenge how we think about the concept of the 'concept album'.

If you are a long time fan, then there is a huge chance that you will like this. Honestly though, if you have never heard an entire Decemberists album before, then this may prove a struggle as a first album, but that should not discourage anyone, this truly is a great album. I would recommend this fully to anybody who has an open mind toward music.

I for one love it, as I love all of The Decemberist albums. I could be biased, but I would encourage anyone reading this to at least give it a full listen while relaxing with a glass of wine.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Decemberists at their best
A great story line from the Decemberists, coupled with drama and musical invention. I had this album on MP3 already but wanted the album for its images and well produced lyric... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Geoff Foot
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, But Not Perfect
When I first heard this album, it was among one of my favourites by the Decemberists, but unfortunately it hasn't aged well. Read more
Published on 20 July 2012 by JJKelsall
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be fooled by the prog label - this is great!
I had just one track from the Decemberists prior to hearing this - the pleasant but unremarkable "Perfect Crime". Read more
Published on 5 Feb 2012 by Marchespie
5.0 out of 5 stars what a great album!
I'm amazed it's taken me so long to get round to reviewing this album. I can't praise it highly enough - it's fantastic! Read more
Published on 11 May 2011 by R. Murray
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 Stars - It's OK
This album certainly didn't blow me away as I had hoped. That's mainly due to the feeling of 'sameness' experienced during the CD's first half. Read more
Published on 3 Feb 2011 by ds
5.0 out of 5 stars A 2nd review
It's been a few months since I got this album and reviewed it, I don't play it so often as before, however when I do I find it's still one of the most compelling and absorbing... Read more
Published on 26 Sep 2010 by mark rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars American alternative progressive folk opera
American alternative progressive folk opera aka Fairport Convention meets Black Sabbath. Initially conceived as a musical, this is a 17-track concept album with a grandiose... Read more
Published on 6 Aug 2010 by Alister King
4.0 out of 5 stars The Hazards of Love
Some really good songs on this album,buy it!But beware of the occasional bit of sea shanty.
Published on 17 July 2010 by bcpeach
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic Album
Came across this band by chance...saw them on Jools Holland and thought yeah interesting. Downloaded the album and was completely blown away. This album is brilliant... Read more
Published on 5 April 2010 by Lexicon
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album so far.
I have all the Decemberists albums and this is by far the best progressing away from their folky roots to some great innovative tracks and brilliant female vocals. Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2010 by Mr. Anthony D. Sullivan
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