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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Long Live The King
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£11.70+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 13 January 2013
I read a few negative reviews from die hard Decemberists fans but I've only heard one album (The King Is Dead) so that is what set the standard for me. The lead singer's voice is absolutely amazing. I first heard this on Spotify and its very rare I feel the need to purchase mp3s but I really needed this in my car. Long Live The King is great for anyone who likes good music. Its as simple as that and I'm not going to waste time debating about the songs. Just stick it on, listen and appreciate.
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on 5 November 2011
This EP is a collection of the best songs recorded for "The King is Dead" sessions not to make the cut for the main album. No surprise then that the mood is similar to that of the album : southern folk rock as opposed to the grandiose rock opera style of previous album The Hazards of Love.

The EP opens with the lovely E.Watson notable for stunning backing vocals from fellow Portlander Laura Veirs whose partner, Tucker Martine has produced the last few Decemberists albums. Veirs spot-on harmonies lift this song from a fairly bog standard acoustic strummer to something of great beauty that could easily have slotted into the original album. Similarly, Foregone's southern rock feel with Chris Funk's pedal steel well to the fore was unlucky to have remained on the cutting room floor when songs like "All Arise!" made it onto the album.

Burying Davy is a slower, darker number. An ominous lament with a feel not dissimilar to that of "Shankhill Butchers" from "The Crane Wife". "I4U & U4ME" makes no bones of the fact that it is a home demo. Better quality than the average home demo certainly but the difference in sound quality is apparent. The song is pleasant enough but has a throwaway quality that suggests that it was the right decision not to pursue this one further during the album sessions. "Row Jimmy" is not a great song - slow southern rock in style but without the songwriting direction and clarity we normally associate with Colin Meloy. Some nice slide guitar from Chris Funk and backing vocals from Jenny Conlee fail to redeem this one which, at 6 minutes outstays its welcome by at least 4 !

Sadly, the closing track "Sonnet" doesn't improve things much - a directionless song augmented by some boozy horns clearly designed to give it a kind of New Orleans funeral march feel but at least at under 3 minutes we don't have to endure too much of this one.

The King is Dead was a fantastic album : a real contender for album of the year but sadly, this EP doesn't do much to add to the legacy of the recording sessions that created it. For Decemberists fans and completists it is certainly worth buying for the first three tracks alone with E.Watson and Foregone being the undoubted highlights. Don't expect a mini version of The King is Dead though as this is a pale imitation whose release not too long before Christmas (and overpriced for an EP of cast-offs in my opinion) smacks of commercialism.
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on 15 January 2015
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on 30 January 2012
As other reviewers have mentioned, this is aimed squarely at the hardcore Decemberists completist, and yes, in the back of my mind there is a slight feeling of being short-changed having bought 'The King is Dead' and then being asked to fork out again for an addendum of varying quality.
I came somewhat late to the Decemberists' party, and possess only 'Picaresque' and 'The King is Dead' in my collection. In both cases, I can say that I find the songs divided squarely into two contrasting camps - ones I love to bits and play repeatedly, and the rest I am decidedly underwhelmed by. This EP seems the same to me - 'E.Watson', 'Burying Davy' and the Dead's 'Row Jimmy' are fantastic, whilst the remaining 3 would have been better left on the cutting room floor.
To be honest, I only bought this on the mp3 download version because I had a free Amazon code to use up, and I would hesitate to recommend it as a full-price purchase to any but the faithful. Then again, it's still head and shoulders above 90% of the dross that passes for music out there nowadays!
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on 9 February 2012
Decemberists one of my favourites from the last decade, but Long Live the King not one to live long on my player. Pretty average overall and certainly not the place to start listening to them. Earlier review which pairs them with the Eagles to me is way off track - REM, Smiths, elements of Neil Young and of course classic English folk, but the Eagles, I don't hear across any of their albums.
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on 6 December 2011
Not a well known band in the UK but if you like the Eagles their music is from the same type of base.
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