The Decemberists

The Crane Wife (Capitol)

Phases & Stages

The Decemberists

The Crane Wife (Capitol)

It's a tall tale only Colin Meloy could spin out of his hyperrustic imagination: Scrappy scullery maid makes good and swaps her ratty dress and stained apron for drippy jewels and haute couture. For the Decemberists' fourth full-length album, the Portland, Ore., quintet signed to Capitol Records after years of laboring on indie labels. And while the Chris Walla-produced Wife certainly boasts a patina of money, Meloy's songwriting is still populated by the usual scoundrels, rapscallions, and distressed damsels. Particularly powerful are war-torn duet "Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)" with Laura Veirs and spirited "The Perfect Crime #2." The Crane Wife could be the best Robyn Hitchcock album made in several years; the lyrical marriage of whimsy and death bear the fruits of a master class led by the former Soft Boy. Let's just hope that scullery maid doesn't get herself knocked up and abandoned by the scoundrel who wooed her.

****

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
East Cameron Folkcore
Better Off, Fossils (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Sept. 23, 2016

Texas Platters
Midnight Stroll
Heartbreak Bugaloo (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Sept. 23, 2016

More by Melanie Haupt
Finding Community With Bread Church
Finding Community With Bread Church
Local parish comes together around baking

July 22, 2016

What the Hell Is Mighty Swell?
What the Hell Is Mighty Swell?
Introducing the post-millennial wine cooler

July 15, 2016

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)