The Rake's Song
Label: Capitol Records
While the Decemberists have always married the sounds of melodic '80s alternative with classic British folk-rock, this concept album is built around a damsel in distress. A bunch of indie stars, such as My Brightest Diamond (Shara Worden) and Robyn Hitchcock, add guest vocals, though Colin Meloy is in full command of the songs and the band's expanded prog-rock palette (yes, some jams are kicked out here). It doesn't matter if their fans know about Pentangle or Mark-Almond, this is a complete album experience.