Hyper-literate. It’s a word that has NO business in Rock N’ Roll. We’re talking about a medium where some of the best words ever written are “She was a fast machine. She kept her motor clean. She was the best damn woman that I’ve ever seen.” Rock N’ ROLL MAN!!!!
So what the hell is wrong with Colin Malloy? I mean, look man, I get it. You’re educated, well read, and a little bit theatrical. You want to share that with the world. You want to rock. And I, being a fan of all that is rock, ALSO want you to rock. Really, I do.
Why is it then that each and every time you open your mouth I feel like you are less singing a song than simply reading a story to me? Reading a story that BELONGS IN A FREAKING BOOK.
It takes an immense talent to craft a hit, or even good song. And I’m not saying that you can’t tell complex stories or use $25 words in songs (see Andrew Bird for an excellent example of this…Bird makes up, as in creates himself, $30 words and then makes you believe that they exist through pure songwriting prowess). But it takes a truly deft hand to craft such a thing, and whether or not you succeed is never determined by just by the quantity or quality of the words that you throw at the page. It has to have guts. Soul. BALLS.
The Decemberists have none. And it’s Malloy’s fault.
But that didn’t stop them from making the next great REM album despite themselves.
“The King Is Dead” is an effort of straight up hero worship.....