Despite earning a dedicated fan base through their critically acclaimed albums Picaresque (2005) and The Crane Wife (2006), The Decemberists seemed to have fallen off the scene in the past few years. Their new album I’ll Be Your Girl, however, seeks to change up their style and tone, while maintaining their uniquely powerful lyricism and folk inspired storytelling.
Making heavy use of synthesizers in some songs, while leaning towards traditional folk in others, I’ll Be Your Girl can seem at times to be disjointed, but is held together through lead singer Colin Meloy’s distinctive voice. The album is also characterized by gloomy, existential themes, calling back to the melancholy lyrics of earlier albums but forsaking warm instrumentals for a darker sound in songs like Severed and Cutting Stone.
The Decemberists are ultimately successful in exploring new concepts without losing their identity, though the first half of the album is far more experimental than the second, suggesting that they were perhaps overly conscious of that possibility. On Saturday, April 21, The Decemberists will perform at the Anthem. The doors will open at 6:30 PM, and the show will begin at 8 PM. Further information can be found here.