Review of The Decemberists’s Album “What A Terrible World, What A Wonderful World”

todayMarch 30, 2015 9

share close

Album: What A Terrible World, What A Wonderful World
Artist: The Decemberists
Released: January 20, 2015
Label: Capitol Records


The Decemberists Album Cover
The Decemberists Album Cover courtesy of

“I’m not going on just to sing another suicide sing-a-long” leader singer/songwriter Colin Meloy sings in “Anti-Summer Song”, a response to the old 18th century tales about widows, whores, and infanticide that have once defined the essence of The Decemberists. It seems Meloy has left his story telling to the children’s book trilogy that he’s published during the band’s 4-year hiatus after releasing their last LP, The King is Dead. What a Terrible World What a Beautiful World captures the raw emotions of Meloy himself as he refreshingly opens up about his personal experiences, depicting an intimacy the band has never presented before.

Track one, “The Singer Addresses His Audience,” brings us back to the heartwarming folk sound that their last LP nearly abandoned, setting up the overall vibe of the album. “What a terrible world” Meloy sings in the track titled “12/17/12” where he tells of his grief for the victims of the Newtown, CT shooting which took place on that date. Meloy contrasts such grief in “Lake Song” which brings on the sweet summer feels of honeydew and good times from his youth. Other mentionable tracks include “Carolina Low” and “Make You Better.”

It can be either a hit or miss for fans who loved The Decemberists for Meloy’s gruesome tales, or audiences who are interested in getting to know Meloy as an emotional other, opposed to an unidentified character. Overall, this album represents a shift in what the band has done lyrically, while returning to the vintage Americana musical elements that distinguish their sound.

Reviewed by Kendra Sells


Written by:

Rate it

Previous post

toyGuitar "In This Mess" Album Cover


Album Review of “In This Mess” from Toy Guitar

Artist: Toy Guitar Album: In This Mess Reviewed by Ngoc Vu Toy Guitar could be described as a mish-mosh of garage style grunge rock. The kind of sound that makes you want to get up and conquer the world. Having a down day? Hang in there, throw on some Toy Guitar and do something you’ve never done: bark at a dog, fix a toilet, learn how to fix a toilet, […]

todayMarch 30, 2015 31

Post comments (0)

Leave a Reply

top Tracks

Team Members


  • Chart track


    40 Oz. To Fresno

    Joyce Manor

  • Chart track


    Boleros Psicodélicos

    Adrian Quesada

  • Chart track


    The Zug

    Yves Jarvis

  • Chart track


    Deep In View


  • Chart track


    Strange Time Forever

    Marta Knight

Full tracklist

%d bloggers like this: