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Hazards of Love

4.6 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Audio CD, 24 Mar 2009
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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Mar. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Music & Marketing
  • ASIN: B001LK1LA6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 592,497 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
My vinyl copy had been mastered directly from a CD. How do I know? Two tracks on side D played the CD skipping for several minutes. It's a great album but don't waste your money on this rip-off vinyl - buy the CD instead.

UPDATE: This has now been confirmed by Rough Trade Records as a fault with the files used in mastering, which they intend to rectify.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Awesome album. Love every note.
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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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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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Format: Audio CD
Ok so you have listened to music for 30+ years and the taste buds are a little jaded. It takes an exceptional album to exhilarate and captivate an ageing ear but this is one such CD. Have played the tracks until the point I am being threatened with divorced. Clever lyrics supported by musicians sounding like they are playing in real time rather than being over produced. Beautiful, melodic. If this had been released back in the day it would by now be a 5* classic.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Some artists create what I call "music for radio" and some produce "music for the home". Examples of the former for me are Jimi Hendricks, Beatles, Stone Roses, Oasis, Stones, Queen - great tracks to hear occasionally but couldn't listen to a whole album straight off. The Hazards of Love is definitely in the latter category. I've waited a while to write this as it needs a number of listens to appreciate fully (just like Portishead's "Third" does) and it grows on me with every listen. I'm inclined to agree that this is a significant album and may well be my album of the century (maybe equal 1st with Portishead) - so far. On the strength of this I also bought The Crane Wife and love that too, although it doesn't feel as complete as The Hazards of Love. I don't often listen to lyrics but have made an exception with Hazards after reading the words on the sleeve notes - I don't think I've done that since the early 70's.
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