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3. The Decemberists–We All Raise Our Voices to the Air
"Good evening," says Colin Meloy at the outset of the Decemberists' new 3xLP live album, We All Raise Our Voices to the Air, "Just thought I would mention… this is not the Keith Urban concert. If you mean to be at a Keith Urban concert, you will be sorely disappointed." This sort of anti-populist sentiment has come to be known by some as the most loathsome thing about indie rock, but fuck that: dude proceeds to back it up with 20 smart, energetic songs that fearlessly jump between styles without ever giving up much of anything in the hook department. There's such a huge amount of joy here, for the exuberant crowd, and for the band onstage, that it's hard to begrudge them much of anything—not their theater kid tendencies, not the senselessly archaic language, not the chart-topping success of last year's The King is Dead, and certainly not the right to release a 3xLP live album.