I've always been drawn to the music of The Decemberists, but it's their most recent output I've been listening to the most. All of their earlier stuff has for me been a good song here and a great song there.
Today, a bit out of the blue I found my CD copy of Her Majesty and decided to put it on. It was a brilliant choice. Each and every song is really great. Not only "Billy Liar" and "Los Angeles, I'm Yours" which both have been favourites for a long time. I think this was one of the first times I've actually sat down and really listened to this album.
Colin Meloy is a wordsmith, and he has a way of writing small stories which almost always puts you right in the middle of the song. Of course, the guy has an impressive ear for a great melody as well. I have to mention "Billy Liar" again. Such an easygoing brilliant little song.
And what about the guitar lines and melody in "The Chimbley Sweep". Somewhere between Duane Eddy's surf twang, a eastern European folk song and a country classic.
"The Soldiering Life" must be one of the prettiest and most danceable songs written about war and soldiers. Yet it also got this almost hauntingly melancholy underneath.
Talking about haunting. The heartbreakingly simple melody in the story of your "Red Right Ankle". Pretty much shows of the genius that is Colin Meloy. - And also why I love folk music.
The album Her Majesty was released on September 9th 2003 by Kill Rock Stars.