Artist: The Decemberists Track: "The Hazards of Love 1" Album: The Hazards of Love

Marc Hogan, crack reviewer for PitchforkMedia.com, recently noted, "Nobody got into the Decemberists for the riffs."

Very true.

Yet this track's resilient oomph -- an idea fleshed out later on with actual rock stylings (gasp!) -- transforms the record into more than a sleepy take on traditional Americana played by people undoubtedly from Portland. That approach might not be what their diehard fans desire, but I think the band is better for it.

They never completely abandon their trademark harmonic approach -- you'll hear guitar-banjo-accordion interplay and several "interludes" -- but this talented collective continues annexing wilder, more interesting territory to their fantasy land of subdued, minor-key pleasantries. Check out "Isn't It a Lovely Night?" to hear the best of both worlds.