The Decemberists, We All Raise Our Voices To The Air (Live Song 04.11 – 08.11)

Dan Hyman

By Dan Hyman

on 03.13.12 in Reviews

We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (Live Songs 04.11 - 08.11)

The Decemberists
A live collection that flows seamlessly

The Decemberists have a history of indulging their grandest ambitions. The Portland folkies’ 2009 rock opera The Hazards of Love unspooled a Shakesperian tale of fairies and shape-shifting forest dwellers while 2006′s The Crane Wife hinged on its three-part title track opus. Which makes last year’s The King is Dead – a taut set of refined, rootsy rockers – and this new two-disc live LP, culled from 12 performances on their 2011 nationwide jaunt, a much-welcomed exercise in restraint. Despite the Colin Meloy-led outfit unnecessarily extending crowd favorites like the otherwise-rollicking “I Was Meant For The Stage,” and engaging in a bit of goofy humor (beware of yodeling!), there’s an unexpected sense of sublime subtlety to this collection that, though it was patched together from a series of shows, flows seamlessly.