Decemberists, The - I'll Be Your Girl

Regular price $ 29.99

The shorthand description of I'll Be Your Girl, the Decemberists' eighth album, is that it's the record where the band decide to ditch the past and engage with the modern world, layering their folk-rock with synthesizers and other contemporary accouterments. The intentional irony is, that this modern sound -- shepherded by producer John Congleton, best-known for helming acclaimed albums by St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, and Future Islands -- is predicated on the New Wave of the '70s and '80s, a sound that would seem like a throwback for nearly any other group, but in the hands of the Decemberists, such swaths of synths provide a vibrant, colorful jolt. Congleton doesn't merely expand the band's palette, he acts as an effective editor for Colin Meloy, keeping the proceedings swift and clean. With most of the songs clocking in well under five minutes -- the opening "Once in My Life" and near-closing "Rusalka, Rusalka Wild Rushes," which stretches out over eight minutes, are the exceptions that put the rest of the record into perspective -- I'll Be Your Girl plays almost like a series of short stories, a feeling that is accentuated by how each cut feels like its own entity, yet the 11 songs form a tapestry. "Once in My Life" kicks off the record with washes of melancholy, "Severed" pulses to a rhythm straight out of Gary Numan, "Starwatcher" is a throwback to classic Decemberists ballads, "Your Ghost" gallops to a gothic beat, and "We All Die Young" is a glam stomp through and through. While Meloy's lyrics are sharply honed and evocative, it's this cavalcade of sounds that not only makes I'll Be Your Girl compelling, but distinctive among Decemberists albums.

1 Once in My Life 5:09
2 Cutting Stone 3:20
3 Severed 4:03
4 Starwatcher 2:39
5 Tripping Along 3:35
6 Your Ghost 2:40
7 Everything Is Awful 3:22
8 Sucker's Prayer 3:28
9 We All Die Young 4:01
10 Rusalka, Rusalka / Wild Rushes 8:15
11 I'll Be Your Girl 2:34