Skip to content

The Hazards of Love – The Decemberists

The Decemberists The Hazards of Love

The Hazards of Love

(2009), 7.5/10
There were hints of a rock opera in The Decemberists’ earlier work; The Tain was a twenty minute single song, and parts of The Crane Wife were also long suites. But The Hazards of Love takes these flirtations into an hour long rock opera with multiple vocalists and repeated themes. Joining Colin Meloy are Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond, Shara Nova of My Brightest Diamond, and Jim James of My Morning Jacket, playing the characters including a shape-shifting forest dweller and the Forest Queen.

Like The Tain, there’s plenty of influence from 1970’s progressive rock – Jethro Tull is the most obvious touchstone given the similarity of Meloy’s vocals to Ian Anderson’s. But there’s also crunching blues rock on songs like ‘The Wanting Comes In Waves’, and British folk on songs like ‘Annan Water’. There’s plenty to like on songs like the concluding ‘The Hazards Of Love 4 (The Drowned)’, where Meloy strains his high vocals

As a full length album, The Hazards Of Love isn’t as successful as their shorter forays into epics – even though it’s substantial, it also feels repetitive. The repetition of musical themes is obviously an element of rock operas – I have similar issues with notable rock operas like Tommy and The Wall, but it means that The Hazards Of Love is one of my less favoured Decemberists’ albums.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Stereo Crush

Popular Music Uncommon-tary

Turntable talk

Musings on the world of alternative and independent rock music.

My life in music lists

These are the songs that have and will continue to soundtrack my life.

jhubner73

Midwestern groaning since 2011

Steve For The Deaf

Certain Songs Get Scratched Right In

It Rains... You Get Wet

Still more lazy thoughts from this one...

zumpoems

Zumwalt Poems Online

Lord Eels Music

S'baht music

timeweleftthisworldtoday

This world's so mixed up everywhere you go

%d bloggers like this: