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Full Version: Album of the Week 2.4: The Hazards of Love
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The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love

All songs written by Colin Meloy except where noted.

1 - "Prelude" (Jenny Conlee)"
2 - "The Hazards of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won't Wrestle the Thistles Undone)"
3 - "A Bower Scene"
4 - "Won't Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)"
5 - "The Hazards of Love 2 (Wager All)"
6 - "The Queen's Approach"
7 - "Isn't It a Lovely Night?"
8 - "The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid"
9 - "An Interlude"
10 - "The Rake's Song"
11 - "The Abduction of Margaret"
12 - "The Queen's Rebuke/The Crossing"
13 - "Annan Water"
14 - "Margaret in Captivity"
15 - "The Hazards of Love 3 (Revenge!)"
16 - "The Wanting Comes in Waves (Reprise)"
17 - "The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)"

Map's statement
I'm not a massive fan of The Decemberists, as The Crane Wife and The King is Dead are both pretty 'eh' (though Picaresque is pretty solid), but this album man, this album. It's a concept album that tells the story of William, the son of the Queen of the forest, who found him as a child and gave him the ability to turn into a deer. One day, while wondering through the woods a woman named Margaret found him in his deer form, injured. She nursed him back to health, they fell in love, banged, nine months later a baby happened. William's mother got pissed about this, got all crazy controlling and hired the Rake to kidnap Margaret and rape her and kill the baby. William chases after them, gives his soul to a river in return for passage across it and saves Margaret when the ghosts of the Rake's kids come back to haunt him. Margaret and William then both get swept away by the rushing water and they both live happily ever after at the bottom of a river. Basically, every single (except maybe the Queen, I'm not sure) character dies and there's only seven of them.
Sonically, this album has some real impact, changing between softer, acoustic parts and some pretty heavy guitar riffs in the more dramatic parts. I first discovered it when I heard 'The Rake's Song' and really dug it, and when I listened to the whole album, it just connected with me, particularly the third act ('An Interlude' and onwards) where the album really comes into its own. The folk-influences mixed with the heavier rock really work to bring the story to life, and that's what I love about it - it's a beautifully crafted mix of composition and storytelling that makes what could be a fairly generic folklore tale a brilliant piece of sound and story.
Man, we're getting really bad at these, and it's making me wonder if we should put this on hold or not.

Anways, I finally got around to listening to the album. I originally didn't like the male vocalist at first, but then he grew on me. There's some really cool stuff on here, and I liked how everything transitioned into each other.
Yeah I'd completely forgotten about it. And I know what you mean about the vocalist, I didn't like his voice when I heard it originally on Picaresque, but I've really come to like it. His lyrics are best on this album too, some of the others are bit mediocre lyrics-wise.
I know I'm late here. Sorry. Anyway, the guitar parts are enough to keep me mostly interested. The singer was all right, although he grew on me too.