I’ve been listening to The Decemberists for a few years now, and I’ve developed quite a liking for them. I can safely say that Picaresque is one of my favorite albums of this decade, and I still regularly spin The Crane Wife. I thoroughly enjoy all of their albums, though. Then we reach The Hazards of Love. The Hazards of Love is the fifth studio album released by The Decemberists to date; a rock opera centered around a woman named Margaret who falls in love with a shapeshifter, William.
It really is a decent album overall, but I can’t say I like it anymore than any of their prior albums. This album, while stays consistent with the unique song structures and interesting lyrics that The Decemberists are known for, doesn’t boast many of the catchy and melodic tracks that ultimately sparked my interest in the band. I feel that this is a much darker album than any of their previous albums, and while I am not necessarily against this, I don’t think it works for The Decemberists. I can respect the musical and songwriting merit of this record, but it didn’t do it for me. That being said, I still definitely like it, and I’d recommend to anyone who is a fan of The Decemberists. Just know that it will be very different from what you are used to.
Released: March 24, 2009
Metacritic: 74 / 100
Pitchfork: 5.7 / 10
Allmusic: 4 / 5
The Hazards Of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won’t Wrestle the Thistles Undone)
The Rake’s Song