Before I start with the highlights of 2012, and the resolutions for 2013, I’d like to stop for a while and write about my favorite album of 2009: The Hazards of Love.
I had never heard of The Decemberists before, and I have no idea how this album came into my life. What I can remember clearly is that I got totally stoked and hooked up very quickly.
Probably you think I exaggerate whenever I tell you I had a crush on certain albums immediately, but I promise it’s true. Some music has an effect upon me as if it was an arrow shot right into my heart. No doubt that’s precisely what I like most about music. The capability of making me feel and enjoy. And probably since I’ve been on my own, it’s music what gives me more pleasure and moves me the most.
This point remarked, what bewitched me, was that Hazards of Love is actually a conceptual album, a story of the love between Margaret and William, threatened by the opposition of William’s mother, The Queen of the Forest, and her servant, the evil Rake. Their love will eventually come to a bittersweet end, with both lovers drowning in the river.
This story is developed through 17 cuts, with very epic and intense passages, different sound personifying the characters, and beautiful arrangements. Jim James, the singer of My Morning Jacket, Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond) and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), collaborated providing backing vocals.
This is the kind of album that needs to be listened as a whole. I don’t like random and definitely I try to listen to the albums in their entirety. The Hazards of Love is to be listened from the beginning to the end to appreciate the amazing work of an atmosphere coated in every song.
I always thought of a Decemberists show as a kind of musical show, with the band playing but also including some performance related to the story. I couldn’t conceive the songs separated in a set list including songs from their previous releases, truth is that even though I’ve listened to their last album The King Is Dead and enjoyed their previous work, The Crane’s Wife, the only album I’m into and often listen is The Hazards of Love, their best, in my opinion.
This is only an excerpt of the album, The Rake’s Song, to give you a clue of what you can find in this amazing album.