The Crane Wife
Even though The Decemberists are musicians and not comedians, a guitar duel with Steven Colbert is reason enough to make this the best album of the year. Another great reason is the story of the crane wife itself. It is rather hard to understand it from the words of ‘Crane Wife 1 & 2’. A man finds a crane and falls in love with it. Once he does, she turns into a woman, only she still has feathers. She becomes too self conscious and ends up running out on the man, leaving him broken hearted. It is this story telling that makes this album one of a kind.
I had a really hard time deciding between The Raconteurs and The Decemberists for the number one spot. After a long brainstorm, it came down to one deciding factor for me. I love both albums equally. As far as I’m concerned they are both number one in my book. The only reason “The Crane Wife” tops off “Broken Boy Soldier” is this. Though The Raconteurs are damn near perfect, I can find solace in other bands with a similar sound. There are no substitutes for The Decemberists. You can’t find a band that combines this intimacy and scholarly wisdom with such contagious stories and melodies. In summary, The Decemberists are everything that is good about the music world today. I can think of no other band or album that has come out of 2006 that I would rather have representing this list. Praise be to you, Colin Meloy, for making such an outstanding album.