Friday, December 2, 2016

The Decemberists -- We both go down together

The Decemberists have been accused of being "overwrought," "frighteningly dark," and engaging in "digressive excess," based mostly on their earlier work, but few doubt the sincerity of their work and Colin Meloy's talent for writing a song and then wringing every last word, note and emotion from it.

2011's The King is Dead, featuring the song you may have heard on the radio, This is Why We Fight, is a very good CD. As the witty smartasses at The Awl observe, it has "100 % Less Raping," and features "a tamer, more pastoral lyrics and a pared-down, bluegrass-tinged sensibility (with guest vocals from the always-excellent Gillian Welch)."  

Their follow-up, What a Terrible World, What a Wonderful World, further refines and matures their work, satisfying critics and fans alike that they have left the emotional excesses behind while staying true to their sound and still providing moving lyrics that provide insight into everyday life, with all its contradictions, joy and sadness.

Despite all that, their 2005 Picaresque remains my favorite.  It is a musical indulgence in pathos-drenched melodrama, a book of pull-you-in-close short stories in song. Intricately woven and full of subtlety, you want to listen and re-listen to soak it all in as you re-experience the emotions. 

My favorite song from that CD is also the most easily-understandable song, one of tragic love and moral ambiguity.  Put on headphones, give it your full listening attention, and you will not remain unmoved.

Note from the man behind Silverfiddle: 

This is me. This is who I am.  Music is magic. Writing a song and then jamming to it with other musicians at a microbrewery and seeing people there enjoy it is magic. Playing music here in town with fellow musicians is the genuine me, it brings me true joy, and it resonates with my heart and soul.

Support Indy Music. Support your local artists.  Peace Out

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