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Castaways And Cutouts [Import]

Decemberists Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.59 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Castaways And Cutouts + Picaresque (Vinyl) + The King Is Dead
Price For All Three: CDN$ 57.41

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  • Picaresque (Vinyl) CDN$ 28.25

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  • The King Is Dead CDN$ 14.57

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Product Details


1. Leslie Anne Levine
2. Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect
3. July, July!
4. A Cautionary Song
5. Odalisque
6. Cocoon
7. Grace Cathedral Hill
8. The Legionnaire's Lament
9. Clementine
10. California One/Youth And Beauty Brigade

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning June 2 2004
Format:Audio CD
have you ever heard a beutiful old celtic song, where upon listening closely to the lyrics you discover it's about how a bride is killed on her wedding day and her ghost avenges her death... and you think "that's a wierd thing to write a song about..."
Well this disc is a lot like that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Decemberists at their Best May 29 2004
Format:Audio CD
I love this album. The twists and turns of melody are fantastic. A lot of the album has a sad dreamy feeling about it - like floating around in melancholy. Every song on this album is pretty wonderful and it all flows together quite nicely. Overall, this release is much stronger than their follow up, "Her Majesty", which, although enjoyable, is bogged down by less successful songwriting (a lot of the "hooks" quickly become annoying which is not a problem on this release.) This band shows a lot of promise - I am hoping that maybe they take a little bit more time before their next full length release and come up with something that is on the same level as this wonderful CD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Safer Than Milk Jan. 18 2004
By meh
Format:Audio CD
Come on, you can't compare The Decemberists to Neutral Milk Hotel! The Decemberists are far too ORDINARY to sound like Neutral Milk Hotel!
I mean, yeah, there are some similarities, but they're all pretty superficial. Really, the arrangements, the production, and the songwriting on this album is a lot more safe than anything you'd find on a Neutral Milk Hotel album.
That said, there are some nice moments here. The Instrumentation is lush and at times the melodies are quite pretty. The lyrics make a great deal more sense than Mr. Magnum's lyrics, and I think that's a good thing. Yeah, Neural Milk Hotel's lyrics are unique and they often do seem to fit with the music, but when you get right down to it they're pretty much meaningless. The lyrics on this album depict little vignettes and occasionally fully-realized narratives, it's interesting stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb May 28 2004
Format:Audio CD
I was led to this album by a review on Salon.com, in which certain comparisons were made to a certain band who I've loved for quite some time now. Salon's rarely led me astray, so I tracked down the album, and was instantly hooked.
Just to get it out of the way, I see the reason for the Neutral Milk Hotel comparisons, but I'd ultimately reject them. Yes, Colin Meloy and Jeff Mangum have similar voices (though I'd say Meloy has a bit more range) and they appear, on the surface, to have similar song-writing styles. However, I'd say Mangum's more of novelist while Meloy is a short story writer. Mangum's masterpiece - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - was a grand sweeping epic of an album. Castaways & Cutouts feels like 10 intimate portraits.
Getting back to the album, I can say that I haven't been so instantly captivated by an album in a long, long time. (And, for the record, this is the first time ever that I've found myself with accordian line stuck in my head.) The album's a nice blend of more up-tempo songs and quieter, more instrospective numbers. The former quickly lodged themselves in my brain. The latter took a bit more work (somewhat like the entire followup album - Her Majesty etc. etc. etc), but proved to have quite a good deal going on, sonically speaking.
So, I'd reccommend this album to, essentially, everyone. Certainly to Neutral Milk Hotel fans, who will find this, at first, familiar, and then simply wonderful
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brit Folk Tradition Meets College Alternative May 7 2004
Format:Audio CD
I acquired this CD because my son turned me on to "Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect", which has been on my "mental playlist" since the first time I heard it. It's still, in my opinion, the best tune on this album, which is overall a very strongly crafted work. Meloy's lyrics at times borrow from the folk tradition (the kickoff track, "Leslie Anne Levine", sounds like one of those "killed my baby by the river" Childe ballads). This CD owes as much to the old Brit-folk-rock movement (Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention) as it does to contemporary alternative styles. And, as another reviewer noted, most of these tunes evoke the morbid art of Edward Gorey; they could even serve as a soundtrack for one of his books. (Maybe Meloy could do a concept album based on "The Ghastlycrumb Tinies".) But seriously, this is excellent, if generally morose, songwriting. Vocally, Meloy has been compared to Robyn Hitchcock - I'm not familiar enough with him to agree, but to my ear he sounds like a more subdued Al Stewart. This is a satisfying effort, and I look forward to hearing the rest of the Decemberists' releases.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing Feb. 14 2004
Format:Audio CD
this album, is absolutely fantastic. i highly recommend it to anyone who likes nuetral milk hotel or belle and sebastion. if either are too extreme for you , Nuetral milk hotel + b&s = decemberists ( it is perfect) i have been listening to this cd NON STOP. i can never get sick of it, its my absolute favorite album, and when i was first listening through, when the song cocoon, came on, i instantly had to stop everything i was doing, just to stop in listen, its very powerful to me. and great lyrics . buy it
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cut out the "Castaways" May 12 2004
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Have you stayed in the Neutral Milk Hotel's coffe-house-psychedelic rooms? Evidently Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy has, especially in sophomore album "Castaways and Cutouts." A little less folky and more catchy, this is still a solidly written but spotty album.
It starts off with a simple acoustic strum in the pleasant "Leslie Ann Levine," followed by folky ballads (the wistful "Clementine," the stately organ-enhanced "Grace Cathedral Hill," the low-key "Cocoon") and acoustic-heavy pop-rock ("Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect," the joyously nostalgic "July July!") before wrapping up with the rather plodding "California One Youth And Beauty Brigade."
As in "Her Majesty the Decemberists," the Decemberists seem to hint at what more they could be doing. The deceptively simple "Odalisque" is an example of how they could go in the future -- a folky ballad suddenly darkens and spirals up into a shimmering organ/percussion whirlwind.
Colin Meloy's acoustic guitar is still the predominant force, but here he lets it occasionally take the back seat to other instrumentation like percussion and organ. And Meloy's voice itself is a bit reminiscent of Jeff Mangum or Wayne Coyne -- nasal and a bit off-key, but pleasant enough to listen to in the framework of offbeat indie rock.
The music is solid and grounded, well-done but it's not really too outstanding. It's also rather disconnected from the dreamlike, peculiar lyrics ("Grace Cathedral hill/all wrapped in the bones of a setting sun/all dust and stone and moribund"). The music matches songs like "July July!
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