Album Review: Long Live the King

★★★★☆

Indie folk quintet The Decemberists have released an outtake EP called Long Live the King composed of songs that didn't make it onto their last album, The King is Dead.

The album begins with its strongest track "E. Watson." It relates well to its parent album, continuing the prominent folksy twang. Acoustic guitars and frontman Colin Meloy's crooning voice complement each other as the overly literary lyrics slide off Meloy's tongue.

"I 4 U & U 4 Me (Home Demo)" is the most upbeat track on the album, which helps to explain the band's choice to save these songs for another record as they differ greatly from the unanimously upbeat The King is Dead. "Home Demo" includes acoustic guitar as well as a vibrant drumbeat to add to the complex sound.

Following is a slower track called "Row Jimmy." While less upbeat, the instrumental sounds are more clearly accentuated. "Row Jimmy" makes use of electric guitar, drums and the irreplaceable vocals of Meloy. The longest track on the album at just over seven and a half minutes, it provides a nice cross-section of the band's sound.

The EP ends with "Sonnet," which displays rhyming lyrics that stay true to its name. With a slow beat, Meloy's haunting vocals and soft guitar sounds, the final track provides an endearing and bittersweet end to The Decemberists' final release before their impending hiatus, which will leave fans without new material for some years to come.