Debating The Decemberists


Stereo Subversion– an online publication to which I sometimes contribute– is launching a new series of “internal debates,” wherein several of the ‘zine’s writers sound off on a particular record. The first installment features a smattering of opinions on The Decemberists’ new album, The Hazards of Love, including a comment from yours truly. The whole thing is worth reading, but if you just want me bit, it’s this:

Following the prog-rock leanings of The Crane Wife to their logical extreme, The Decemberists return with not just a concept album, but a full-fledged rock opera, and everything that such a work entails. There is sprawling ambition and complexity, but also a dearth of individual songs that stand on their own, making Hazards an impressive feat but a frustrating and exhausting listen.

In other words, I’m pretty much sticking by what I said in my review. Don’t mistake my lack of enthusiasm for a lack of appreciation, however: I deeply respect and admire the artistry and musicianship on display on this ambitious, compex record. However, I have to agree with Marc Hogan’s Pitchfork review: “Too much work, not enough payoff”



2 responses to “Debating The Decemberists”

  1. Gavin Breeden says :

    I find it humorous that you sort of caused this debate. It was like the 800 pound gorilla in the room. “Ok, sometimes we have reviews that we don’t all agree with and so here is one example…..JOSH!!!” And then it became even more apparent when everyone else at SS loved it.

    You are such a renegade, sir. A maverick even.

  2. Josh Hurst says :

    Well, for one thing, this “internal debate” was compiled before my review was published, or even written. And for another, my take on the record is clearly the right one!

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