The King is Dead
The Decemberists - The King is Dead
Critic Score
Based on 28 reviews
2011 Ratings: #366 / 894
Year End Rank: #40
User Score
Based on 57 ratings
2011 Ratings: #126
Your Review


A.V. Club

It’s hard to deny the power of The Decemberists’ renewed commitment to basic songcraft.


It’s good to have Meloy and his band settling back to Earth and writing songs for the sake of the songs themselves.

No Ripcord

The King Is Dead is as different to its predecessor as it’s possible to be while still remaining very much a Decemberists record.


It's missing a little vulnerability-- the best Americana records tend to feel a little lawless, but the Decemberists just can't quite relinquish control.

Drowned in Sound

This album is accomplished and a great listen, but in losing their quirkiness and bold concepts they have also somewhat lost the one thing that set them apart from the crowd.

Tiny Mix Tapes

At best, The King Is Dead is a patchwork of genre exercises, giving listeners little more than a chance to play “spot the influence.”

Jan 18, 2018
Thankfully, The Decemberists take a break from the theatric indie-rock they unfortunately were buried by on The Hazards of Love. Trading in ambition for simpler Americana-country songwriting, The King is Dead isn’t a return to form but a better evolution and a logical stepping stone that the band needed in the wake of their previously inflamed infection of an album. The King is Dead begins with quite simply a great song about taking it easy. It’s a lighter moment and a refreshing ... read more
Dec 10, 2017
Worth a listen
Dec 27, 2016
The catchiest and most accessible of the Decemberists' records. The band largely eschews the ambitious concepts and experimentation of their previous records, instead opting for a set of songs based largely in Americana and folk-rock. They prove they can make a low-concept album without sacrificing their intelligence, and not only salvage their melodic abilities, but bolster them.
Track List
  1. Don't Carry It All 
  2. Calamity Song 
  3. Rise to Me 
  4. Rox in the Box 
  5. January Hymn
  6. Down by the Water 
  7. All Arise!
  8. June Hymn 
  9. This is Why We Fight 
  10. Dear Avery