The Portland, Oregon band The Decemberists have been creating their own particular brand of folk-rock/baroque pop since 2000. What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World is their seventh full-length release. The Decemberists have maintained their folky traditional instrumentation and idiosyncratic approach to writing lyrics, even as they have edged closer to being a "mainstream" band. Lead vocalist and principal songwriter Colin Meloy is the frontman in the group. His songs often deal with historical incidents and folklore, but on the new album he seems to be drawing more on personal experience. At any rate, even the most vocabulary-rich listener may find it necessary to look up the meaning of a word or two from Meloy's lyrics!