THE HAZARDS OF LOVE
The Decemberists

THE HAZARDS OF LOVE

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On THE HAZARDS OF LOVE, their second major-label outing, the Portland, Oregon-based ensemble the Decemberists continue to carve out their hyper-literate indie-rock niche, presenting a fairy-tale song cycle rooted in British folk. Rather than staying in the ornate and antiquated atmosphere of past albums, however, lead Decemberist Colin Meloy and the band soar to prog/classic-rock heights, at times evoking revered acts such as Fairport Convention and even Led Zeppelin.
Featuring subtle guest turns by Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Rebecca Gates (the Spinanes), and key influence Robyn Hitchcock, LOVE benefits considerably from the luminous double Diamond presence of Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond) and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), who take on the guises of characters in Meloy's fantastical narrative, while he lends his distinctive nasal croon to other central players in this oddly romantic story. While "The Hazards of Love 1" recalls vintage Decemberists, "Won't Want for Love" opts for an expansive "Battle of Evermore" vibe, and the dramatic "The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid" challenges the Arcade Fire in terms of sonic grandeur. Though past Decemberists offerings have run the risk of seeming overly insular, HAZARDS invites new listeners in with its bold, if still quirky, widescreen sound.

  • Genre: Pop
  • Released: 3/17/2009
  • Format: Vinyl