What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, the Decemberists seemed to have traded hyper-literary theatricality for straightforward folk-tinged pop rock. But the Colin Meloy-led ensemble is shaking things up with its just-released eighth studio album, I’ll Be Your Girl. The polyphonic group is experimenting with synths and cheers that sound like the most subversive performance on Yo Gabba Gabba! The album includes elements of the Decemberists’ trademark fantastical storytelling, with an eight-minute suite based on a Slavic parable. For fans of the band’s theatricality, the current set list includes “Ben Franklin’s Song,” with lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and over-the-top favorites like “The Mariner’s Revenge Song,” which is often worth the price of admission.
On their 2015 album,