20 Songs, 2 Hours

EDITORS’ NOTES

This epic-length live concert recording, taken from 12 different shows and mixed to sound like one, stands as a summary of The Decemberists' achievements as of 2012, when they're said to be taking a sabbatical. It features songs from throughout their career, proving again that Colin Meloy's unusual lyrical approach is matched by an unerring sense of melody, no matter how pretentious the surroundings become. The straightforward, crystalline beauty of "Leslie Ann Levine" (from the band's debut album, Castaways and Cutouts) is forever enduring. The country- to R.E.M.-influenced material ("Calamity Song," "Rise to Me," "Rox in the Box," "All Arise!," "June Hymn," "This Is Why We Fight" "Down by the Water") from 2011's excellent The King Is Dead resonates with energy far beyond the stripped-down acoustic approach. 2006's The Crane Wife has its title cut's three parts finally put together into one 16-minute rock opera. For laughs, Meloy presents a snippet of the "the very worst song I ever wrote in my entire life" ("Dracula's Daughter") before slipping into the much better "O Valencia!"

EDITORS’ NOTES

This epic-length live concert recording, taken from 12 different shows and mixed to sound like one, stands as a summary of The Decemberists' achievements as of 2012, when they're said to be taking a sabbatical. It features songs from throughout their career, proving again that Colin Meloy's unusual lyrical approach is matched by an unerring sense of melody, no matter how pretentious the surroundings become. The straightforward, crystalline beauty of "Leslie Ann Levine" (from the band's debut album, Castaways and Cutouts) is forever enduring. The country- to R.E.M.-influenced material ("Calamity Song," "Rise to Me," "Rox in the Box," "All Arise!," "June Hymn," "This Is Why We Fight" "Down by the Water") from 2011's excellent The King Is Dead resonates with energy far beyond the stripped-down acoustic approach. 2006's The Crane Wife has its title cut's three parts finally put together into one 16-minute rock opera. For laughs, Meloy presents a snippet of the "the very worst song I ever wrote in my entire life" ("Dracula's Daughter") before slipping into the much better "O Valencia!"

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Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
9 Ratings
9 Ratings
Cat for the Tillerman ,

Great Live album

This is wonderful for longtime fans or a great introduction for new fans. The recording is excellent.

wcincali ,

WONDERFUL

I look forward to each album from this band with great anticipation. After four years of waiting The Decemberists did NOT disappoint! The band is amazing, and this album "What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World" is also amazing. The first track "The Singer Addresses his Audience" and the last track "A Beginning Song" are the ones I'm hooked on right now but that changes with every listen. The album seems to have a perfect flow. I highly recommend buying the whole album, which I almost never do, you won't regret it.

Meems0417 ,

SO GOOD

They always make great music and this album has put some of their greatest songs together. Definitely one of my favorite albums

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