It's been a month or two since I first raved about The Crane Wife. My opinion hasn't changed one lick. Not to be overdramatic, but I love it, sing its praises, and will kill in its name of my own accord. Albums don't often dig this deeply into my soul. It's good on so many different levels, and without a single weakness to speak of beyond personal tastes. The only thing left to say is that I can listen to it on repeat by choice. The ultimate compliment! The last album to earn that honor with me was Jimmy Eat World's underrated Futures. In short, The Decemberists win.
The only thing that's changed since my initial reaction, apart from the bloom of young love, is the following observation concerning the album's track order:
1) anthemic opener
2) twelve-minute epic in multiple parts
3) classic Decemberists-type tune
4) classic Decemberists-type tune
5) experiment with a "new sound"
6) experiment with a "new sound"
7) classic Decemberists-type tune
8) classic Decemberists-type tune
9) twelve-minute epic in multiple parts
10) anthemic closer
Not only is it brilliant, but symmetrically so. It's like holding a mirror up to my friggin brain! More fuel for the "not just ambitious but also well-executed" fire.
OK, I'll shut up about it now. But if you're at all curious, the first single ("O Valencia!") can be downloaded here. (I take no responsibility for link expiration.)