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The Tain Single, EP

7 customer reviews

Price: £8.65 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£8.65 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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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.
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The Tain + Castaways And Cutouts + Her Majesty The Decemberists
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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 May 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Single, EP
  • Label: Acuarela
  • ASIN: B0001IW3TW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,409 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Tain - The Decemberists

Product Description

BRAND NEW EXCELLENT CONDITION

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christopher on 31 Dec. 2004
Format: Audio CD
The Tain is one 18 minute long track. This would probably put off most casual listeners, but the Tain is by no means inaccessible. It is divided into 5 distinct parts (conveniently numbered in the liner notes) and the variation of these parts (while remaining a cohesive whole) is remarkable. The record soars from clanging pseudo-metal to the delicate, dusty vocal work of drummer Rachel Blumberg. The vocal narrative is a very loose interpretation of the famous Celtic myth the Ulster Saga, but the beauty and loss of its lyrics rings true without any knowledge of Cu Cuchlain and Queen Medb. The Tain is the most recent Decemberists releasse, their most experimental, and also their most musically successful.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 July 2005
Format: Audio CD
Everyone knows the Decemberists as being a sort of light indie-pop/folk band, with slightly odd songs and a slightly sunny feel. Not the sort of band to do a mythic concept album, right? Wrong. In what may be their best release so far, the Decemberists released "The Tain," a rich musical reinterpretation of Irish legend.

It's basically one song in five movements, starting off with a quietly sneering song from the "Crone." It then switches to a dark mix of bass and electronic instrumentation, before changing again to a stately, mournful acoustic ballad, where Meloy's cries of "On this stretch of ground/I'll lay me down" are echoed by the "Chorus of Waifs."

The fourth movement opens with Rachel Blumberg's soft singing, over a muted Hammond ballad. The final part of this musical tapestry is mostly a conversation between a woman and daughter, a percussive rock song that snaps and snarls, before ending with another word from the Crone.

"Tain Bo Cualnge" was the inspiration for this EP -- it was originally a story about cattle raids and legendary heroes in ancient Ulster. The Decemberists only loosely retell it, through offbeat rock songs and peculiar ballads. What's really striking is the musical reinvention -- nowhere are the more charming tunes of their full-length albums. This is dark, it's rock, and it's wonderfully eerie.

Meloy and Co. don't let the dark tone of the old myth get away from them -- in the middle of the fourth part, they burst into a kind of Celtic carnival tune. I'm not sure what it's supposed to signify, except that it sticks closer to the musical traditions of Ireland. The writing only falters at the beginning; the first part is pretty vulgar, and lacks the mythic tone of the following songs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Fennessy on 20 Feb. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Based on Irish legend, this is an exciting combination of folk and rock, ambitious in its musical scope and largely successful, with echoes of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, an 18 minute EP, which is essentially one long song split into sections (in the bad old days they used to call it Prog Rock and stick it at the end of a Genesis album!)There are interesting changes of tempo, instrumentation and mood and established Decemberist fans won't be disappointed. I must admit on the first couple of listens to being a bit disappointed however as I have only recently become converted to the delights of the Decemberists, having seen them perform live in London a few weeks back and have got four of their albums, all of which set extremely high standards. Parts of this sound a bit twee on early listens and maybe the sheer variety disrupts that enveloping atmosphere, the unity of purpose, which I always feel helps me enjoy the best music. Probably a bit unfair to compare an EP to an LP, but this is not an EP which is cheap to buy these days! If you are new to Decemberists, I would buy the albums first before you choose this, but if you want everything this band have produced, then this is not a bad buy and is one of those records which I suspect could get better or worse on repeated plays. Hence my overall mark should be taken with a pinch of salt as I've not lived with it long enough!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Lusher on 19 Mar. 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is an interesting experiment by The Decemberists and it really pays off. 'The Tain' is in 5 parts and drifts pretty quickly from folky acoustics to all-out heavy riffs with great Hammond keyboards and excellent percussion. This is heavier fare than we nornally expect to get from this band, but they really rock. The mood continues to change through the various pieces of this excellent concept EP - vocal harmonies, cello, guitar, electric piano, accordion, bells are all woven into the mix. 'The Tain' is never boring over its 18+ minutes of music. Wonderful stuff - what a great band!
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