Picaresque (album) by The Decemberists
In total, there are 9 music albums by The Decemberists which appear in the greatest album charts and Picaresque is NOT ranked as the best. The best album by The Decemberists is The Crane Wife which is ranked number 468 in the list of all-time albums with a total rank score of 2,453.
There are 5 comments for this album from BestEverAlbums.com members and Picaresque has an average rating of 80 out of 100 (from 97 votes). Please log in or register to leave a comment or assign a rating.
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|The Decemberists - Picaresque & Picaresqueties Vinyl Record
20h 51m 3s
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|Picaresque [2xLP] by The Decemberists (Vinyl, Sep-2005, Kill Rock Stars)
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|THE DECEMBERISTS - PICARESQUE [THE DECEMBERISTS] - NEW CD
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Picaresque track list
|1.||The Infanta||83/100 (14 votes)|
|2.||We Both Go Down Together||84/100 (16 votes)|
|3.||Eli, The Barrow Boy||81/100 (13 votes)|
|4.||The Sporting Life||80/100 (13 votes)|
|5.||The Bagman's Gambit||80/100 (12 votes)|
|6.||From My Own True Love (Lost At Sea)||78/100 (8 votes)|
|7.||16 Military Wives||84/100 (19 votes)|
|8.||The Engine Driver||84/100 (18 votes)|
|9.||On The Bus Mall||81/100 (13 votes)|
|10.||The Mariner's Revenge Song||85/100 (21 votes)|
|11.||Of Angels And Angles||80/100 (10 votes)|
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Comments for the album Picaresque by The Decemberists:
Wasn't feeling it nearly as much as The Crane Wife. Felt a little too goofy in comparisons. The emotions were there but the stories just felt like pantos - which I guess it what they were going for by the look album cover. Just felt daft, not expansive.
Don't know how haven't I found this before! Great indie/folk/prog. Best track is definitely The Mariner's Revenge Song. Both the instrumental break and the incalzando outro give me goosebumps, not to mention the outstanding storytelling.
paladisiac put out an exceptional review there that I would take the time and read. If you have ever enjoyed writing lyrics and would like to continue doing so listen to this as soon as possible.
Doesn't seem American, but at the same time, seems quintessentially so.
Picaresque is my favorite album from the Decemberists. It starts off with a muted tribal horn i often blast before the drums beat in with Colin narrating the premise of "the infanta": "Here she comes in her palanquin / on the back of an elephant / on a bed made of linen and sequins and silk / all astride on her father's line / with the king and his concubines / and her nurse with her pitchers of liquors and milk / and we'll all come praise the infanta". The charging literature of the song is finely offset by the quieter, pensive, recharging bridge. The lyrics on "infanta" are the best decemberists lyrics yet (and i love intelligent lyrics), replete with high-point scrabble words like "palanquin", "pachyderm" and "folderol", tied with another picaresque tune, the epic "mariner's revenge song", probably my favorite decemberists songs of all-time. "mariner's" starts in flashback mode "in this belly of a whale" recalling a "rake and a rastabout" who moved in on the narrator's mother when he was 14 "Leaving my mother A poor consumptive wretch" with a killer-yet-frail chorus delivered by Jenny wisping "Find him, bind him / Tie him to a pole and break / His fingers to splinters / Drag him to a hole until he / Wakes up naked / Clawing at the ceiling / Of his grave". The narrator later was hired in a priory "But never once in the employ / Of these holy men / Did I ever once turn my mind / From the thought of revenge" hearing about a captain known for "wanton cruelty", the man who left his mother destitute in death. There's even a pensive instrumental passage as the narrator contemplates commiting a "wicked deed" (to kill that captain) which nails the sound of the old sea (as only the Decemberists can!). Then "And then that fateful night / We had you in our sight / After twenty months at sea / Your starboard flank abeam / I was getting my muskets clean / When came this rumbling from beneath" as the whale rose from beneath which chews up all but our two antagonists. Marvelous storytelling and delivery including an energized ending. All tunes have the feel of tales of centuries ago, classic stories charles dickens or herman melville would be proud of, full of motorcars and muskets ablaze. "we both go down together" is a tale of a couple who commit suicide knowing their families will never allow them together ("Meet me on my vast veranda / My sweet untouched Miranda / and while the seagulls are crying / we fall but our souls are flying"). That Colin can make such wordsmithy, sea shanties so catchy and endearing is a testament to his intelligence and ability to tap the human condition. Like on "eli the barrow boy", the soliloquied epitaph of a loved one, singing "Would I could afford to buy my love a fine robe / Made of gold and silk Arabian thread / But she is dead and gone and lying in a pine grove / And I must push my barrow all the day". Or the humorously playful "the sporting life": "I fell on the playing field / the work of an errant heel / the din of the crowd and the loud commotion / went deafening silence and stopped emotion" . The instrumentation on this album kicks arse too, from the fiddle on "together" to the organ and horns on "16 military wives" to the accordion on "mariner's revenge song". The slower numbers work well too, from the crime scene buildup of "the bagman's gambit" ("On the lam from the law / on the steps of the capitol / you shot a plainclothes cop on the ten o'clock") and literally lost love "from my own true love (lost at sea)", to what i feel is Colin's first love song "of angels and angles". Beautiful acoustic guitar prefaces simply-felt lines like "there are angels in your angles, there's a low moon caught in your tangles", the perfectly understated closer to offset the literary bombast of "infanta". The sentiment is as saddening-sweet on "the engine driver" with a chorus pleading "and if you don't love me, let me go", and even on the lyrically-simple-life-of-a-male-prostitute of "on a bus mall" illustrating "here in our hovel we fuse like a family, / But I will not mourn for you. / So take off your makeup / And pocket your pills away. / We're kings among runaways / On the bus mall." . There's even a jab at politics in "16 military wives": "Cheer them on to their rivals / Cause America can, and America can't say no / And America does, if America says it's so".
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