Simon Vozick-Levinson
September 29, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Crane Wife

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
Producers
Capitol
genre
Indie Rock

We gave it a B+

This Oregon quintet’s major-label debut, The Crane Wife, refuses to relinquish the quirks of their three justly praised indie LPs. Songwriter Colin Meloy specializes in lurid historical dramas; here he bookends short scenes in that vein with two longer tales and leads the folk-oriented band on successful excursions into styles including keyboard-based prog. The jarring faux-metal riffage of ”When the War Came” exposes Meloy’s limits, but several of these studies in heartbreak and homicide rank among his most moving.

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