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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