Does Exactly What It's Supposed To
Be warned: this will put you in a dismal mood. Olivia Chaney laments about heartbreak, heartache, and all manner of soul-wrenching subjects. The music is brilliant, and strikes a perfect balance between Chaney's musical minimalism, and the intricate instrumentalism we've come to expect from the Decemberists.
Okay—I adore traditional folk music. All of it, indiscriminately. That said, my only negative point to make about this album is very similar to that of others. This is not to say that these songs aren’t well-played or well-sung, nor is it to say that they do not capture the spirit of the traditional folk revival decades ago—both are true. There’s simply an issue of balance, I think. The album tapers, losing energy very early on and never really building it back up at any point. If the album had been a more even mix between lively folk and emotional ballads, it may have worked a bit better. Each song, though, is individually very good, and I still definitely recommend this album to any trad. folk fans.
Lacking in passion
This attempt at reviving the 1970s electric folk sound is sadly missing a Sandy Denny, Maddy Prior, or a Richard Thompson all of whom brought an edge of raw passion to their interpretations of classic folk songs. This insipid attempt is a disappointment, its mellow vibe does nothing to inspire further listening. Listeners would be well advised to go back to the 70s renditions by Fairport, Steeleye, Pentabgle and Baez.
Thought this album would have a little more life to it based on the first two singles, "blackleg miner" and "queen of hearts". Ended up being kind of a boring album though. Everything is really mellow and not in a good way.
Sounds great. Was thinking of Liege and the Leaf as soon as I heard guitars.