hey folks! we’re back with some From the Vault discography reviews. after reviewing King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, i moved on to The Decemberists! this series of reviews covers the band’s whole discography, from 2003’s 5 Songs EP all the way to 2018’s Travelling On! this review was originally written in September 2021.

today let’s dig into LP number two for The Decemberists, it’s 2003’s Her Majesty The Decemberists:

The Gymnast, High Above the Ground is a nice, tender track. i love the shift into the chorus, and it’s interesting that what makes up the chorus is def longer than the verses of the song. The Bachelor and the Bride is a lil fucked up but damn its a real solid track. had no idea of the connection to the Marcel Duchamp piece. Song For Myla Goldberg is neat, because in looking up stuff i saw a comment claiming Meloy was her assistant for a time, but it appears he was a media escort for a bit and helped her out at a book tour event for her first book here in Portland. that’s neat! i wonder if it was at Powells. The Soldiering Life is a nice little love song. big fan of this one. Red Right Ankle is a nice track – i can absolutely see why its one of the more popular of the album, but it’s not at the top of my list. damn, with The Chimbley Sweep they’re really letting their guitarist go wild huh. i’m a fan of this one. I Was Meant For the Stage and As I Rise work solidly as an ending but its hard to properly kinda lead out after Chimbley Sweep, haha. IWMFtS does a pretty hard reset, to build back up to its own climax, which is really strong! Meloy has mentioned in an interview that thing song has kinda changed over the years, how it was kinda ironic to be playing dingey little venues with this sweeping statement of purpose when it came out, but now they actually so have a platform to match the tone so its a little less tongue in cheek, and i thought that was neat. As I Rise is a nice little epilogue to close out the album. i like the way its mastered, with the mic a bit out from the band, like its a recording in a mostly empty salloon.

faves – Billy Liar, Los Angeles, I’m Yours, The Bachelor and the Bride, The Soldiering Life, The Chimbley Sweep
dislikes –

yeah this was a p good album. this one felt a little slower (on the whole) a little more deliberate, but a little less connected than Cutouts and Castaways. loved a lot of the western guitar stylings with the accordion throughout, and there are some fucking bangers. i think on the whole the tracks were stronger here, but the album as a collection is a little weaker. still a fun listen!

Her Majesty The Decemberists – 6/10

next time we’re checking out a little bit of a weird release, it’ll be The Tain EP

support the band by buying this record on Bandcamp

first: 5 Songs EP | previous: Castaways and Cutouts | next: The Tain EP

all my reviews for The Decemberists