Quick Hit or Miss – The Decemberists, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World

Four years have passed since their last album.  Colin Meloy and company return this week with, well, an album that sounds like it could have been released six months after 2011’s The King Is Dead (and apparently some of the songs were written around the time of that last album).  Meaning, there’s not a lot of new ground here.  The Decemberists can spit out good indie pop songs with the melodious voice of Meloy as an anchor; that’s not a knock.  It’s a testament to the band that they can consistently do this.  I’ve been a casual listener to the band; I feel that sometimes I can get bored with them because that consistency can  wear on me.  One thing I enjoyed about this album was that the songs are on the shorter side, especially in the second half of the album.  Despite the title, there doesn’t seem to be any overarching theme to the album from my few listens.

For serious fans of the band, this may be a disappointment, but I enjoyed the album as a collection of mostly upbeat songs with some nice harmonies and pleasant vocals.  I don’t know it’s something I’ll come back to a lot over the year, there’s always a lot of good stuff coming out and I just don’t that this will have staying power for me.

Here’s the first single, Make You Better, which is actually one of the longer songs on the album.

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