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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$ 14.23 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Castaways And Cutouts + Picaresque + The King Is Dead
Price For All Three: CDN$ 46.61

  • Picaresque CDN$ 16.53
  • The King Is Dead CDN$ 15.85

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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
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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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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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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5.0 out of 5 stars ...Review - Enough to warrant the fuss July 15 2003
Format:Audio CD
Since its initial release on a smaller indie label, Castaways and Cutouts has been passed around with the same sort of hero-worship that attends Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. That's fitting, since both bands are fronted by gifted songwriters who have a penchant for peddling fantastic and haunting pop narratives. But now that the secret's getting out, many are wondering if the Decemberists are for real, or just flopping in the Neutral Milk Hotel while its owner is on sabbatical.
The short answers to those questions are yes and no. Castaways and Cutouts is incredibly strong. While it is clearly influenced by NMH, the record reveals more than enough originality to warrant the fuss. The Decemberists' Colin Meloy forgoes NMH-proprietor Jeff Mangum's gut-wrenching, breathless delivery and swirling surrealism in favor of a more grounded emotional tenor that sketches maudlin vignettes of characters cutout of history books. At times Meloy resembles a medium giving voice to history's castaways: young vagabonds with "kickabout hearts;" legionnaires pining for their "gay Paree in [a] desert dry;" even an aborted infant still "cling[ing] to [its dead Mother's] petticoat."
Vocally, Meloy is difficult to pin down, as his voice sometimes has a nasal clip that gives him a mild English accent. This is most noticeable on the more up tempo tracks like "July, July!" or "The Legionnaire's Lament," where he reminds of Lee Mavers from the early 90's British pop group The La's. On the slower tracks like the stately "Grace Cathedral Hill" and the forlorn sounding "Clementine," his vocals are similar to Ben Gibbard's from Death Cab For Cutie.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Cut out the "Castaways"
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... Read more
Published on May 12 2004 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars underatted!-
If you like soft indie music that envokes feeling and piece of heart, this cd is for you. All the songs are unique and are written very very well. Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2004 by Anapanasati
3.0 out of 5 stars eh
I liked this album alright, but they too often reminded me of The Shins. While I like the music, all their songs sort of sound alot alike. Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2004 by "noxfacexmusic"
4.0 out of 5 stars had to check several times
architect was preloaded on my rio player. it was the only real song worth note of the 10 or so songs that were there. Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Certainly no comparing to Aeroplane
Reviewers are correct in disputing claims that this is a Neutral
Milk Hotel ripoff. Aeroplane Over The Sea beats the pants off this music in energy, intensity and... Read more
Published on Dec 21 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Comparisons are always subjective...
Er, who's Neutral Milk Hotel? I must be getting old, because actually I thought of Robyn Hitchcock when I first heard this band. Read more
Published on Dec 9 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Jeff Magnum only wishes
Neutral Milk Hotel songs consist of no more than 3 chords played maniacally. Granted, its EFFECTIVE, but its totally different. Read more
Published on Nov. 28 2003 by Rat Tamer
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