the crane wife"The Crane Wife" CD – The Decemberists (2006)

I discovered The Decemberists sort of by accident when I heard one of the tracks from this album, "The Perfect Crime," on a local radio station. Not being one to download music, I purchased the CD expecting to find more of the same type of music. I was more than pleasantly surprised by the beauty and insight contained in the rest of the tracks. The title "Crane Wife," which consists of 3 different tracks, recounts a Japanese fable about a farmer who rescues and marries a crane. Other tracks include a grisly bedtime story about "The Shankill Butchers" (sort of like a bogeyman) and a gorgeous folk song about the Civil War. This album is lyrically and musically excellent. Its content is somewhat different from the rest of The Decemberists' work. If you have not heard it yet, give it a try.

Reviewed by Ginger Russell