Have you ever listened to an album that expressed, with almost every chord change, exactly your mood? I have recently listened to two albums which have done this for me, and one of them is this, the latest by the Decemberists. When I first tried to listen to this one a month or so ago, I wasn't real impressed, and I had bought another one along with it. So this was relegated to a drawer and I only pulled it out today while I was packing to leave my last away rotation and head back to what will only be home for a few more months.
I was blown away. The first track is still not a barnburner, but I should have left the CD playing. Track two is epic, rising from standard Decemberists ethereal guitars and drums to a sythesizer solo that probably makes Keith Emerson jealous, winding down to a beautiful guitar piece. That is followed by a duet with Laura Viers, and the hits keep coming. Great packing music, with energy and variation enough to keep this obsessive complusive medical student at least mostly engaged in his task.
And I was pleasantly surprised with the lyricism. Colin Meloy often has catchy lyrics, but often they are more than a little shocking. At least on Picaresque, but I should have expected it from an album with a song title Odalisque.
This one's going to be keeping me company on my long drive back to the metropolis. I have yet to make up my mind entirely about the lyrics, but there is nothing like a long car trip for close listening to an album.