Decemberists frontman’s live album superfluous, but completely enjoyable
“Tonight I’m gonna play you the worst song I ever wrote,” Colin Meloy announces before launching into “Dracula’s Daughter,”
one of the two previously unreleased songs featured on this collection from his early-2006 solo tour. The other, “Wonder,” finds Meloy waxing paternal, his firstborn son then scarcely out of the womb. Now the kid’s a toddler and his pop is widely known as Stephen Colbert’s hyper-literate, prog-rocking green-screen nemesis, but Sings Live!
calls to mind a simpler time. With an occasionally “misbehaving” acoustic guitar and his trademark professorial tenor, Meloy bounds through beloved Decemberists tracks (“California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade” and “Red Right Ankle” stand out) interwoven with scattered covers (Fleetwood Mac, Morrissey, Shirley Collins) and one throwback to his college band, Tarkio (“Devil’s Elbow”). All originals predate The Crane Wife
, which was released later that year—the follow-up to which this hopefully presages.
Click here to read Paste's recent "Catching Up With..." interview with Colin Meloy...