The Hazards Of Love
Capitol Records 
Fire Note Says: Hopefully you can snag the balcony seat for this rock opera!
You were crazy if you thought that The Decemberists next album would be anything less than an epic 17 songs and 60 minutes long. You were crazy if thought that band leader Colin Meloy would release an album of just songs without taking the opportunity to tell a story. You were also crazy to think that the bands fifth long player The Hazards Of Love would suck. The Decemberists are truly an artistic group and even though a "big" album like this will gather both negative and positive reviews, I will tell you that it is completely entertaining and full of ideas that will take the listener multiple spins to comprehend. The Hazards Of Love also hosts an array of talent besides the band, which includes guest vocalists Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) and Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond) plus bits and pieces from Robyn Hitchcock, Rebecca Gates (The Spinanes) and epic album himself Jim James (My Morning Jacket). The women guests especially stand out as they go back in forth with Meloy on several cuts and hold up their "acts" in the musical. The Decemberists hold back nothing on The Hazards Of Love and have quick spontaneous musical changes throughout that will always keep you guessing like the children singing in "The Hazards Of Love 3" or the 70's guitar assault in "The Queen's Rebuke/The Crossing". As a whole fans should know that this record is really classic Decemberists with its grandiose story line, its folk-metal mixture and it's intriguing soundscapes. I also guarantee that these songs will play spectacularly live with what I am sure will be a "show" - just make sure you go out and catch it!
Key Tracks: "The Wanting Comes In Waves/Repaid", "The Hazards Of Love 1", "Annan Water"
Bands With Similar Fire:
My Morning Jacket
The Decemberists: Always The Bridesmaid - A Singles Series [Fire Note Review 11/6/08]
Colin Meloy: Colin Meloy Sings Live! [Fire Note Review 5/19/08]
The Decemberists: The Crane Wife [Fire Note Review 10/2/06]
Official The Decemberists Website
The Decemberists MySpace
The Decemberists Info [Allmusic]
-Reviewed by Sam DaMatta