Decemberists

Decemberists mainman Colin Meloy must have a dandy record collection. The influences throughout the band's latest opus, The Hazards of Love, are enough to make older prog-heads glow with sweet nostalgia. Love is a suite, each track leading into the next, its narrative told via an engaging mixture of old-school bombast (think Rush, Jethro Tull, and the bands Spinal Tap satirized) with delicate, insinuating folk melodies. (Meloy gives solid props to Brit trad performers Shirley Collins and Anne Briggs.) Decemberists could now successfully undertake a version of "Stonehenge" (the Tap's undoing), as they have both the talent and self-aware wit to get it right.

 
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