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The Decemberists are one of those unfathomably popular bands who seem to get the love from everyone despite sounding like the kind of American band around in the 80's/90's intended for those listeners who found REM a bit too 'challenging' (Toad the Wet Sprocket anyone? Velvet Elvis? Rembrants?). It's folky college rock with nasal vocals that grate in the same kind of way the guy from Neutral Milk Hotel grates (for me at least, if seemingly no-one else). My dad is a big fan of these and has high hopes for this one, having been put off by the previous one being to proggy. Well by jimminy he has nothing to worry about - they are playing as safe as houses here, everything is in its place, everything plods just so, all guaranteed not to offend.... though just 30 seconds of it has sent Phil scurrying outside for a cigarette.
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