Not much to love on ‘Hazards’

By Gus Bode

The Decemberists

‘Hazards of Love’

Release Date: 3-24


Record Label: Capitol Records

Rating: D+

Colin Meloy seems like a pretty smart dude.

Or, at least that is what he would have you believe after listening to his band’s, The Decemberists, previous output. Meloy has a penchant for showing off the fact he has read literature you have not in his lyrics and does not wane from that this time around.

The Decemberists’ fifth record came about after Meloy’s failed attempt at writing a musical. So, since the music did not work as a piece of musical theater Meloy has decided to release the tunes without lavish dance numbers and flashing lights. I’m not saying don’t create your own dance numbers or set up an intense lighting system while listening, it might make the record more enjoyable.

What was once a prominent strong point of The Decemberists’ sound were their soaring, epically melodic choruses. One would think Meloy would exploit his ability to pen those moments to no end while creating a musical, however, those types of hair-raising instances are few and far between here.

That is not to say the whole album is a throwaway. There are fleeting moments of trademark Decemberists bombast throughout, like on tracks ‘The Rake Song’ and ‘The Abduction of Margaret’.


The album as a whole is just a bore compared to the highlights of the band’s career. It is a long listen with few rewards.

Meloy should have kept this one on the shelf with his Proust first editions.

Luke McCormick can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 275 or [email protected]