I find it surprising that a major label (Capitol Records, nonetheless) signed indie rockers The Decemberists to a contract. Not that the band is not talented, but it's just that their music is not the type to appeal to the masses. You probably will not hear anything from this album on the radio (two of the five songs are over 10 minutes long). Their music varies from progressive rock to baroque to a mishmash of other styles. They have never been a group that was afraid to try something out. For example, their latest release is based on a Japanese folk tale. Not your average source of inspiration for a rock band. The signing with a big label has certainly increased the amount of dollars they can spend on production values and the album in general and in this case they have not had to sacrifice their uniqueness to do so.