Are the Decemberists Overrated?

Oh yeah. I went there.

Dare I question the darlings of indie rock, that quirky yet mesmerizing group from Portland called the Decemberists? Despite loud accolades from such publications as Paste Magazine and recommendations from many of my friends with musical taste, I have yet to become enamored with this band.

According to Wikipedia, I should: Their style ranges  “from upbeat pop to instrumentally lush ballads, and [they] often employ instruments like the accordion, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer organ, and upright bass.” That’s right up my alley. But the few cuts I’ve heard have been strange at best. And a recent live appearance on TV left me perplexed by their bizarre arrangements and theatrical displays.

I will be the first to admit, though, that I have not given them a chance. And granted, the group is not lying awake at night wondering why I don’t like them. My taste is pretty limited in scope.

I will try to broaden my horizons before making such a snap judgment. So, as I tried several months before with Joy Division, I will immerse myself in the Decemberists’ music and either learn to like them or at least find out why their music is so appealing to some. I’ll listen to their major releases, report back on my progress, and then give a final verdict. Let’s hope it turns out better than the Joy Division project.

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