++ Frank at Chromewaves reviews the LP and does a nice round up of interviews with Linkous surrounding the recording of the album and where the artist has been the past five years.
MP3: Sparklehorse :: Don’t Take My Sunshine Away
MP3: Sparklehorse :: Shade & Honey
Amazon: Sparklehorse – Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain
Having said that, note that the album does not lose any of the grand scope found the group’s earlier releases; in this case, the material is based upon and around an ancient Japanese folk tale. The album opens with the signature Decemberists folk of “The Crane Wife 3” moving straight into the sweeping twelve minute plus “The Island, Come And See, The Landlord’s Daughter, You’ll Not Feel The Drowning,” all funky keyboards and ‘70s grooves before transitioning into acoustic guitar – then melding back into a mid ‘70s prog-rock vibe.
It’s this musical expansion, guests such as Laura Veirs, and an overall less self-conscious air to the album that create a more open and inviting listen. Just try and not get pulled in and hooked on the sugary sweet duet “Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then).”
Amazon: The Decemberists – The Crane Wife