You know an album is going to be good when it starts with a harmonica.
I find that the Decemberists are a love/hate band. You either love the voice of Colin Meloy, or you physically despise it, and every time you hear it you try to gnaw off your own ears. However, I rather like it, and other than that it is well proven that he can write a song or two from his track record.
The group from Oregon really show their capabilities in their latest outing, especially with it being very different from rock opera, 'The Hazardous Of Love' yet just as rewarding to listen to.
There is a very country feel to this album that hasn't really been experienced from any of their others. Maybe this is due to the harmonica. I don't know. But still, the actual playing is tremendous and is of great merit, really showing that they didn't aim to be better than before they just played what came naturally to them.