hey folks! we’re back with another review From the Vault, continuing the discography review of 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 October 2021.

next in the discography, it’s time for I’ll Be Your Girl, released in 2018!

god Once In My Life is such a fucking mood, ngl, and a good way to start the album. i like the really stripped down intro section, with the lyric-matched entry of the rest of the instrumentation. the drums in Cutting Stone with the kinda drifting synth is such like, a “troubled dream” mood. the heavily repeated chorus is real catchy too. Severed gives me strong new wave vibes with the way it incorporates the little looping synth here. Starwatcher’s doing some real interesting stuff for sure. neat lyrically but largely just aight. im sure you could get a good dayman joke outta this track tho. i found Tripping Along in the back of my brain just kinda hanging out a few times. nice comparatively chill track, a lil trippy and a lil (a lot) suggestive. while i dont dislike it, something about Your Ghost doesnt do it for me. its bewildering because its got a really fun driving beat, its got neat lyrics, the supernatural bits are cool, but i dunno. the tracks that distort Meloy’s voice on this one and the last are the hardest to adjust to, and it works to give the tracks a sense of unease, but i dunno. maybe this one will grow on me. i sure want it to. Everything Is Awful is like part 2 of Once In My Life. and yknow what? yeah it is. this song is a powerful earworm. Sucker’s Prayer is my #1 top Decemberists song, full stops no exceptions, and i can say that now. the lyrics! the passionate longing! i can, and have, listened to this track on loop. i dont know what to call it but We All Die Young feels like an rock or indie rock song in the LCD Soundsystem era. this song couldve been on the Burnout Paradise soundtrack. i like it a lot! i guess this is pt 3 of Once In My Life/Everything Is Awful, haha. the doom on this one’s strong. Rusalka, Rusalka/Wild Rushes feels like a return to the sort of thing they were pursuing on Crane Wife, with a long, complex track (well, two conjoined, but theyre so thematically connected it feels more like a part 1 / part 2 kinda vibe). this is a real good track and i really like it, after an album of despair, and longing and failure, to have the kind of crescendo being this track about fatally giving in. and to contrast that, I’ll Be Your Girl is a nice romantic closer.

faves – Once In My Life, Cutting Stone, Severed, Everything Is Awful, Sucker’s Prayer, We All Die Young.
dislikes –

yeah i really dug this album. they’re continuing to flex a lot musically and theres a lot of style variance on this record, and it mostly works! i def dont think this is their strongest record, but i definitely think its my favorite on sheer density of liked songs, at least, even before taking other stuff into account, haha. but yeah! had a really good time with this.

I’ll Be Your Girl – 8/10

next week, we catch up to the current release with Travelling On!

first: 5 Songs EP | previous: florasongs | next: Travelling On

all my reviews for The Decemberists