Slate slags Decemberists for “antique poesy”

Posted April 10th, 2009 by Eric Greenwood · 13 Comments

Slate’s music critic, Jody Rosen, isn’t a big fan of The Decemberists. I, too, share Rosen’s distaste for the most pretentious little Lord Fauntleroy in all of corporate subsidized nerd folk in one Colin Meloy. His reedy voice – embarrassingly overwrought lyrics notwithstanding – is of a timbre my ears find repugnant. When I dislike something with as much enthusiasm as I dislike The Decemberists, it often clouds my ability to understand how anyone could not find it as loathsome as I do. So, when I happen upon someone with a like-minded viewpoint, I tend to revel in the mutual disgust. Rosen’s piece today lists the top eight most pretentious lyrics on The Decemberist’s new record, The Hazards of Love. Having avoided the new record at all costs, I can’t speak to the level of pretension inherent to Meloy’s latest set of pedantic poetry, but based on Meloy’s past flowery indulgences, I’d imagine Rosen had a hard time whittling the list down to only eight.

One example:

4. From “The Abduction of Margaret”

All a’gallop with Margaret slung rude ‘cross withers
Having clamped her innocent fingers in fetters
This villain must calculate crossing the wild river!

For some reason this make feel like Meloy deserves a cock punch. Just obnoxiously annoying. Imagine how unbelievably unfun it must be to hang out with this guy as he slurps mead from a pewter chalice and recites Chaucer. In Old Middle English.

Tags: commentary · feature · lists

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 AJW // Apr 10, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    I like Colin Meloy.

    *runs*

  • 2 Guy whose opinion matters // Apr 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    I’m with ya Eric.

    Down with bands who sound “different”! Long live sameness!

  • 3 K // Apr 11, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Eric’s Top 5 Least Favourites*:
    5. The Decemberists
    4. The Unicorns
    3. Animal Collective
    2. ?????
    1. The Flaming Lips

    I’m stumped by #2. I know there’s got to be a band you hate more than Animal Collective but less than The Flaming Lips.

  • 4 K // Apr 11, 2009 at 12:16 am

    damn, I totally forgot about your distaste for Ween. I bet #2 is Ween!

  • 5 AJW // Apr 11, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Eric, you hate Live, right?

  • 6 Eric Greenwood // Apr 11, 2009 at 8:34 am

    @AJW yep, Live would probably be most hated. @K nah, ween wouldn’t make it that high on the list. i actually like(d) some ween.

  • 7 K // Apr 11, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    You also dislike Wilco, so maybe I should have started a Top 10…

  • 8 Drew // Apr 13, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Meloy = Fag.

  • 9 marcdh // Apr 15, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Chaucer wrote in Middle English, you philistine.

  • 10 Eric Greenwood // Apr 16, 2009 at 11:13 am

    thanks, marcdh. how careless of me. post updated for you.

  • 11 K // Apr 16, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    marcdh, thee hath bestoweth the best comment ever.

  • 12 AJW // Apr 16, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    The history of the English language nerd/linguistics major in me almost said something about the Old/Middle goof, but decided not to. Thanks, marcdh.

    Here’s my useless trivia for the day: Colin Meloy has a degree in creative writing. Useless, but probably not too surprising.

  • 13 Eric Greenwood // Apr 16, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    i had to memorize the first 18 lines of the canterbury tales’ general prologue (in middle english!) as a junior in high school, which i still (mostly) remember to this day. one would think i’d also still ably recall that it was indeed written in middle english. an embarrassing gaffe, for sure, but that’s what i get for being a smart ass. -75 points.