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The Decemberists,"I'll Be Your Girl"

Updated: Dec 21, 2018

Dive into The Decemberists 11 track album, "I'll Be Your

An invigurating listening experience that will change your

perception that's a must listen.

Jesse Rumpca, 04/18

jesserumpca@gmail.com

insta: @jess_skunksa


Portland, Oregon – based Indie rock veterans The

Decemberists are back at it again with their 8th LP, I’ll

Be Your Girl, released this March on Capitol Records.

This record features eleven tracks of, true to

Decemberists’ style, truly varying genres. Although

mainly musicians of an acoustic nature, the Decemberists

are no strangers to dabbling with electricity over the

course of their 17-year careers. However, I’ll Be Your

Girl takes a larger side-step into the realm of synthesizers

& the like, no new endeavor for most indie bands, but

somewhat new territory for our subject band.

The album’s lead single, “Severed,” makes this

abundantly clear, with its immediate intro of rolling

synthesizer triplets plastered against twangy, minor-key

guitar riffs, provided by members Jenny Conlee and

frontman Colin Meloy, respectively. The record’s intro

tune, “Once in my Life,” opens with a driving, two-

chord acoustic progression that is instantly reminiscent

of the closing track on the preceding record, What a

Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, perhaps acting

as a segue into this record, and the song opens up in

the chorus featuring a simple synth track over Meloy’s

calling vocals.




As a whole, the record features tracks one has come to

expect on a Decemberists LP, ranging from blues-

rockers (“We All Die Young”), to dismal follies

(“Everything is Awful”), to expansive, rustic chorales

(“Rusalka, Rusalka / Wild Rushes”). It plays just as any of

their records do since breaking free of their strictly-folk

roots. However, this being said, the Decemberists have

not done much ground-breaking here, regardless of intent.

First listens of the synthesizer intro of lead single

“Severed” may have alienated a few condescending fans,

yet if you stripped off any new synth instrumentations,

you’re left with an album of what we’ve been used to

hearing for the past few Decemberists releases. Since

establishing themselves as competent acoustic

songwriters and musicians, the band has typically relied on

classic piano and harpsichord tones that have blended quite

well with their earthy nature, so although the synth chords

fit, the switch seems a little unnecessary on a few songs

(you be the judge).


Overall, what we have here is eleven new tracks written in

classic Colin Meloy fashion; never shy about flaunting his

huge vocabulary to paint a vivid picture or tell cautionary

tales, with slightly more compressed vocals and a bit more

synthesizer drizzled on this time. The spirit of this record

stands alone, a solid one, regardless of new instrumentation,

and features tracks that will definitely hold their own against

past releases. It goes without saying that whichever direction

the Decemberists decide to lean in the future, we’ll still be spinning it.

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