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The King Is Dead

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iTunes Review

After a decade-long foray into British-inspired folk-rock, The Decemberists now proclaim The King Is Dead. The Portland-based group’s sixth studio album signals a sea change and offers more of an Americana bent — with the mostly delicate, swaying, and passionate compositions adorned with themes of transition and rebirth. This can be immediately heard on the opening track, “Don’t Carry It All,” featuring harmonica, methodical rhythm guitar, and light strings. Things get a bit alt-country on the Peter Buck–assisted “Calamity Song” — in fact, the R.E.M. member appears on several songs, as does chanteuse Gillian Welch. That tune about returning home and falling into an angel's arms (“Calamity Song”) cohesively transitions into “Rise to Me,” an acoustic composition brushed with mixed-gender harmonies, harmonica, and pedal-steel guitar. There’s a markedly simple nature to The King Is Dead, a testament to The Decemberists' way of making everything sound so pleasant and breezy.

Customer Reviews

Incredible Album...

This is my favorite album of all time. It's a truely beautiful masterpiece both musically and lyrically from the first second to the last. It's an album full of life and youthful spirit that reminds me of all the best things in life: spring, summer, and good friends.

Worth buying and cherishing. Thank you Decemberists.

Awesome album

This is a must buy

Seriously- So Good

I actually became aware of the Decemberists by reading the music review page in a weekly news magazine. Though I hadn't heard a note, the description of their music told me I had to have a listen. That was about 3 years ago and I now own all their albums.

The King is Dead is definitely not representative of the Decemberists' "norm". In any case, it is a fantastic album and I loved it from the first listen. Yeah, some songs have a little country feel to them but I'd call it more like folk. If you like excellent composition, some story telling and intelligent lyrics I think you'll love this album.

We were fortunate enough to see the Decemberists play live recently at an outdoor venue. If you like this band, I recommend seeing them in concert. It was one of the most enjoyable shows I've seen. Colin Meloy interacts with the audience well, and they played a ton of songs; many from The King is Dead.


Formed: 2000 in Portland, OR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Led by Montana native Colin Meloy, the Decemberists craft theatrical, hyper-literate pop songs that draw heavily from late-'60s British folk acts like Fairport Convention and Pentangle and the early-'80s college rock grandeur of the Waterboys and R.E.M. The band's initial lineup also included drummer Ezra Holbrook, bassist Nate Query, keyboardist/accordionist Jenny Conlee, and multi-instrumentalist Chris Funk. Frontman Meloy had previously devoted some time to an alternative country group before...
Full Bio
The King Is Dead, The Decemberists
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  • $11.99
  • Genres: Adult Alternative, Music, Rock, Alternative, Country, Alternative Country
  • Released: Jan 14, 2011

Customer Ratings


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