Review of O Valencia! Single by The Decemberists

The Decemberists
O Valencia!
Single Review

The Decemberists O Valencia! Single

The Decemberists' grand opus, The Crane Wife is such a complete, albeit unconventional record, that taking a single from it would be like deciding which new-born pup to prize from its mother's teat. Difficult in other words. But they've picked a good one with O Valencia! It's strong enough to survive in the big, bad world of singles because it shows what the band do best, putting bleak lyrics to an upbeat, life-affirming melodies.

The deceptive lightness of the track belies Colin Meloy's macabre lyrics; he sings "the blood still warm on the ground" like you or I would sing Mary Had a Little Lamb. Sweet.

The B -sides After the Bombs, and Culling of the Fold are two fine specimens, the former with an ace Billy Preston style organ wig-out that takes you all the way back to that Savile Row rooftop in 1969.

Ben Davis

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