Reviews in 200 Words

The Decemberists, “We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (Live Songs 04.11-08.11)”

In Album on March 16, 2012 at 11:35 am

I went to my first concert when I was about ten years old; yes, with my parents. It was The Grateful Dead (with Jerry), and Sting opened. I’m not even kidding. After that I was sort of hooked on concerts. When I was in high school I spent almost all the money that I could save on concert tickets. I’ve always liked the feeling of being overwhelmed with the sound. So, naturally, this dual album (triple, if you’re into vinyl) of songs recorded at various concert venues from April to August, 2011, makes sense to me. Some of the favorites are more upbeat/faster or made goofier or extended; we get the audience’s reaction, the onstage banter—a whole season of experience from a whole career of music. “Rise to Me” is a slowed-down version with a lot more twang than the original. “The Crane Wife 1, 2 and 3” is an epic 16 minutes. If you’re not already a Decemberists fan, this certainly seems excessive, but the songs really are different enough that it’s quite a collection. And the personality comes through: you’ll feel like you get to know Colin Meloy; he’s funny. This is his life. This whole thing feels like a journey–something to be proud of.

-Micah Ling

Click here to subscribe to the official Beat Jab Podcast via iTunes.

Click here for a Spotify playlist of the new Decemberists album “We All Raise Our Voices to the Air.”

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