St. Patrick's Day this year had an extra level of awesomeness added to it.
The Decemberists new album, The Hazards of Love, became available on iTunes.
Go, download it NOW. Give it a listen
Back? Did you just listen once? If so, you're not doing it right. You see, the "hazard" is that you're pretty much not going to stop listening to this album for the next month. Possibly, actually, the rest of your life.
As much fun as I had with my friends last night at Paddy's, I was just a little sad that I was pounding back the Guinness and Harp instead of filling my ears with audio ecstasy.
A few months ago I'd found out from Pitchfork that "The Decemberists' New Album Is Totally a Rock Opera" and I got fairly excited. Then I found out that two of my favorite female vocalists, Becky Sharp from Lavender Diamond and moreso, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond (pretty much my favorite female singer out there), were going to be guest vocalists, and got more excited. That was followed by extreme jealousy that my friends Brooke and Craig were going to see the full performance of said opera at South by Southwest. I then got VERY excited to procure tickets for the band's tour which is hitting the Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee.
Now, on the fifth listen of this album, I have reached a level beyond excitement to see it performed live.
To be fair, I need to lock myself in a room, not multitasking and listen to the whole thing straight through to truly describe it to you. Right now my favorite tracks (but DON'T listen track-by-track...it's an ALBUM) are the two versions of "The Wanting Comes in Waves," "A Bower Scene," "Annan Water" and "The Queens Rebuke." Actually any songs with the character of the Queen, played by Worden, who seriously rocks this album. Colin Meloy's storytelling has never been in better form and the band's rocking has never been either.
I hopefully can give you a better musical analysis soon, but for now, I just wanted to point out the hazard of this album being un-put-downable.