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Crane Wife CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jan. 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Rough Trade Records
  • ASIN: B000INAVI0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,404 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Crane Wife - The Decemberists [CD]

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
"The Crane Wife" is, in many ways, a relief to Decemberist fans, in that it's clear that the band haven't dropped their style completely despite a move to a major record label in the US. However, it is clear that there have been some developments in the band's sound and approach, which carries both positive and negative consequences...

The first thing fans will notice about the new album is that the production is much sharper. What is more, the band have begun to broaden their musical outlook with tracks like "The Perfect Crime" and "When The War Came," which sound very different from Picaresque-era Decemberists. It is clear that the Decemberists have incorporated some of the sound they experimented with in their Tain EP into the new album. This isn't a bad move, in many ways, because it's always good to see a band move forward and develop. However, it does mean that the album loses some of that olde-worlde charm that we have come to expect from the band, though it still flairs up on the occasional track ("Shankill Butchers," "Yankee Bayonet"). This means less acoustic, folky, "Eli The Barrow Boy" type numbers, and more tracks with generic indie elements.

The standout tracks on the album are the three parts of "The Crane Wife," which are beautiful, melodic numbers based on a Japanese folk tale; the powerful "The Island" epic in which the band's 'rockier' sound is exhibited; the closing singalong "Sons and Daughters"; and the aforementioned, folky duet "Yankee Bayonet." Colin Meloy's imaginative, intricate lyrics are still present, as are his highly individual vocals. It is good to see the Decemberists have not dropped their emphasis on storytelling, which is one of their biggest appeals.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An eclectic mix of pop, rock and folk that never get boring - at times it comes close to sounding like a long lost Jethro Tull album from the 1970s, somewhere between Thick as a Brick and Minstrel in the Gallery - which can only be a good thing. Song twist and turn through changes of sound and pace to great effect.
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Format: Audio CD
I was given this album a couple of months ago by a friend who assured me that The Decemberists were one of the hippest band around at the moment. Having listening to this album and the ep 'The Tain' I became a bit confused. Being a fan of early Genesis, latter-day Marillion, and other such prog outfits I am used to being ridiculed and hit over the head for being terminally uncool. So how come the Decemberists managed to avoid the prog tag and its associations?. Some of the Crane Wife even sounds like Jethro Tull. Are the youth of today really listening to this and deaming it the height of cool?. Personally, its a great result for me as my friends are now looking on me in a entirely different light.

The album itself is, bar a couple of ropey tracks (Perfect crime), a masterpiece. The three Crane Wife tracks are amazing and I particular love the last song 'Sons and Daughters' (How many bands write songs that enable them to rhyme 'Aluminum' and 'cinnamon'?). In reference to my abovementioned comments, special praise is reserved for the prog-fest 'The Island'. It is a total joy and gets better with every listen. Its contains elements of almost every prog dinosaur that ever roamed the earth.
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Format: Audio CD
The Crane Wife is magnificent album - with complex lyrics and pretty complex sound structure - very similar to mid 70's Jethro Tull. But it's also very fluent and catchy. For example - Summersong and Perfect Crime are wonderful pop tunes and much better songs than many from today's Top 10 singles charts. Triplet The Island, Come And See, The Landlords Daughter (You'll Not Feel The Drowning) is marvelous and it sounds just like forgotten Tull's song from their prog-rock phase. If you still have habit for listening long clever songs with complex structure Crane Wife is album for you. Single Oh, Valencia is nice song, Shankill Butchers one of my favourite songs in last 10 years, same as Yankee Bayonnet with nice vocals. Buy this album and you'll listen it for a long time, again and again...
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Format: Audio CD
This is a fabulous album, absolutely fabulous. One of my most anticipated of the year, it hasn't failed to live up to my expectations and I've been listening to it almost constantly since early October. It carries on Meloy's wonderful recepie of pop-folk-rock with increasingly-fashionable story-style lyrics. It centres around two song cycles, "The Crane Wife" and "The Island", both of which are over ten minutes long and brilliant. There are far fewer immediately likeable, catchy songs (like 16 Military Wives), indeed O Valencia! may be the only one, but instead they're subtler and take a listen or two. It's a dark album, too (the Shankhill Butchers; O Valencia!; even the Crane Wife cycle itself), and overall it's almost certainly their best so far. It's more mature and rounded, with moments of great poingnancy. The coupling of melodic, happy music with tragid lyrics is distinctly Morrisey-esque. Standout tracks are... well, they're all standout tracks but i particularly love The Island, Yankee Bayonet, O Valencia, and Summersong. And, also, after the downer that is the end of the Crane Wife, Summersong is an absolutely *perfect* closing track, giving a wonderful upkick of optimism. Wonderful stuff.
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