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The Decemberists

Literary types and romantics may well appreciate the belletristic Decemberists singer Colin Meloy. His imaginative, offbeat tales of love, death, and seafaring still abound on Picaresque, the Portland band's third full-length. Meloy's elegant lyricism ("From all atop the parapets blow a multitude of coronets / Melodies rhapsodical and fair!" he sings on "The Infanta," a track about a child monarch) meshes fluidly with his group's indie-pop sound (most notably on the folksy, accordion-driven "The Mariner's Revenge Song"). Despite the superior stylings of Meloy's lyrics, however, his voice, lackluster and quasi-monotonous, ultimately grows irksome and rather flat, failing the album as a whole.


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