The Decemberists have set aside the sprawling multi-part epics they're known for in favor of concise pop tunes and guest appearances from Gillian Welch and R.E.M.'s Peter Buck on their sixth album The King is Dead (out January 18; pre-order on iTunes now). Rolling Stone's Will Hermes gave the record four stars, praising singer/songwriter Colin Meloy for his ornate lyrics and sumptuous harmonies and noting that his "songs savor straightforward pleasures." Click above to hear it for yourself in this audio stream of the album in its entirety.
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