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Billy Liar Single, EP, Maxi

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 1 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Single, EP, Maxi
  • Label: Redeye / Kill Rock Stars
  • ASIN: B0002TXSXU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #76,443 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Billy Liar
2. Los Angeles, I'm Yours
3. Everything I Try To Do, Nothing Seems To Turn Out Right
4. Sunshine

Product Description

Decemberists ~ Billy Liar

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9ded8bf4) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f4bef6c) out of 5 stars "Everybody wants their shoes in the sunshine now" April 7 2005
By wellwellwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The big beef with singles is whether or not they're even worth buying at all; especially when half the songs featured on a particular single are also on a band's full-length CD, which normally only costs a few more bucks. So, considering that the first two tracks here are both on Her Majesty The Decemberists, it's down to "Sunshine" and "Everything I Try To Do, Nothing Seems To Turn Out Right" to save this single. And while they may not completely bring it to thrive, they do keep it afloat.

"Billy Liar" and "Los Angeles, I'm Yours" needn't be reviewed. They are both superb, but head over to Her Majesty if you're only interested in them. Because, really, you shouldn't be buying this single instead of Her Majesty, but rather in addition to it. "Sunshine", a short little ditty, seems to be the kind of song you'd expect to find on a single. Nothing is really wrong with the song; it's a nice, uplifting tune for a b-side, but compared to album tracks and "Everything..." it doesn't quite measure up. The real treasure here is in fact "Everything I Try To Do, Nothing Seems To Turn Out Right". Unlike some other choice Decemberists tracks (including "Billy Liar"), the music here takes a back seat to Colin's voice and the words and the way he sings them. It's not that the lyrics are all that revolutionary--coming from a band that's brought us such words as 'fecundity' and 'picaresque'--but they are just so depressing and monotone that you have to be impressed. If you're in a 'down' mood, it's the perfect tune to keep you there and make you feel good about it.

Finally, please do not buy this unless you own Her Majesty, love it, and can't seem to get enough of their positive/negative demeanor and vocabulary-broadening lyrics. Only then will you find pleasure in this slightly-above-average single and two songs you can't find anywhere else in The Decemberists catalog.
By EA Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"Billy Liar" is one of the bouncier songs on the Decemberists' second album, "Her Majesty the Decemberists." Here it's grouped together with three other songs to form a pretty good single album. Not great -- but it's a pleasant, poppy diversion.

"Billy Liar" is the tale of a slacking dreamer, with a bouncy little melody and weirdly upbeat lyrics. "Los Angeles I'm Yours" seems to be an acoustic guitar, love-hate ode to the City of Angels. And then there are two songs unique to this single: "Everything I Try To Do, Nothing Seems To Turn Out Right," a downbeat little tune, followed by the peppier acoustic "Sunshine."

It has a pleasant musical sound, especially in the two tracks that aren't on the album. Strings, synthesizer, organ and acoustic guitar form the music, forming some pleasant melodies with a few unusual edges (begone, harmonica!). Their brand of trippy folk isn't great, but it is nice.

Colin Meloy's voice remains a rather unusual aspect of the single -- it's rather nasal and monotonic, and much of the time he seems to be drifting or sleepy. And the lyrics are clever and trippy, although the repeated references to underwear is a bit weird.

Two decent songs from "Her Majesty the Decemberists," and two unique to this single. It's a solid listen, and might hook you in to listen to the albums. But it's merely good. Not great.
HASH(0x9e083f18) out of 5 stars Good, even if the first two songs are on another CD... Jan. 9 2007
By Nat Zorach - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'd actually suggest not buying this single, since Billy Liar and Los Angeles are the same recordings as on Her Majesty (which you should also buy), and instead buying the fourth (and maybe third?) track on iTunes.

I can't say enough good things about the first two tracks. Billy Liar is truly one of the Decemberists' best songs-- the beat, the harmony, melody, lyrics-- it's all superb. Los Angeles, I'm Yours, a song reflecting the narrator's ambivalence about the city of angels (mostly how disgusted and intoxicated it makes him feel, probably accurate) is also quite good.

Sunshine, unique to this single, isn't great. It's okay, I mean, just not very interesting. The way the verses are structured and the loud, abrasive drumset makes it sound very fractured. The melody and harmony are fairly weak as well. I might rate it three stars, though, I'm not sure. It's listenable.

"Everything I try to do" is excellent. Amazing lyrics, develops quite nicely, nice instrumentation. I got this on iTunes separately, though... hmm.