“Angel, Won’t You Call Me?” by The Decemberists

52. Song No. 369: “Angel, Won’t You Call Me?” The Decemberists
5 Songs, 2001

I think I’m at the point where I tend to have favorite albums or songs rather than favorite bands, but fuuuuuuuck do I love The Decemberists and I am still festeringly, selfishly resentful that one of 2020’s many casualties was their summer tour.

I have loved the six tracks of their basically perfect 5 Songs EP for as long as I’ve loved The Decemberists and it’s still one of my favorite go-tos. Also, come on: How often do a half-dozen songs account for almost half an hour of music?

“Angel Won’t You Call Me” is the most obvious indication of the sea-shanty Americana folk rock The Decemberists’ sound was heading for as Colin Meloy moved farther from Tarkio’s past (of which “My Mother Was a Chinese Trapeze Artist” is a beautiful relic). It’s not the song with my name in it, so it had to somehow distinguish itself from the other four songs on the album sharing the same handicap, and foretelling the hallmarks I loved most about this band is one awesome way to do just that.

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