Album: The Decemberists, We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (Rough Trade)


Time and again during this 2CD live collection culled from The Decemberists' 2011 American tour, I was reminded of Arcade Fire – when I wasn't being reminded of R.E.M., of course.

Built around their The King Is Dead album, with its anthemic folk-rockers like "Calamity Song" and "Down by the Water", the latter comparison is inevitable; but the band's mix of intelligence and drive, and their blend of guitar, accordion, organ and violin, echoes Arcade Fire. Certainly, Colin Meloy's songs have a comparable ambition, whether he's essaying a gripping thriller like "The Bagman's Gambit" or a singalong sea-shanty like "The Mariner's Revenge Song"; and the way he deftly prevents the crowd applauding prematurely in "We Both Go Down Together" is the work of a consummate performer.

DOWNLOAD THIS Calamity Song; The Bagman's Gambit; We Both Go Down Together; Down by the Water