Monday, June 13, 2011

Comparative R.E.M. Studies

Apropos of my last post complaining that there's no good music these days and that those durn kids better get off my lawn, Marty helpfully suggested that perhaps I might find agreeable the new Decemberists album, The King Is Dead.  And she's totally right (thanks Marty!), it's a really great bunch of songs.  Not quite as quirky or showy as some of their earlier stuff, but catchy and well-written and emotionally direct.  For example, here's the first single

So here's the thing: I thought the jangly guitar sounded really familiar, and after a few listens I realized that the song is almost totally identical to R.E.M.'s "The One I Love" -- both the guitar and the vocal melody.  Compare and contrast...
Turns out that the guy playing the jangly guitar part is Peter Buck, so I guess he's allowed to swipe some of his earlier riffs.  And if they keep turning out songs this good I'm certainly not going to complain about it.  There's a couple other R.E.M.-y tracks on the album, but a lot of it is roots-ier and more down homey like this one, "Rox in the Box."  They also have Gillian Welch and David Rawlings backing them up on some songs too.  Awesome!


Marty said...

So, guess whose going to be seeing the Decemberists in concert on SATURDAY!

Feel free to start drooling at any time ;-)

t said...

Wow, I am jealous =) I somehow doubt they'll get down this direction anytime soon. Great lineup too. I definitely recommend Old Crow Medicine Show - saw them in SF a few years ago. Would love to see Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris. Enjoy!