The Dimes The King Can Drink The Harbour Dry

While The King Can Drink The Harbour Dry isn't really a concept album as such, every song tells a tale about Boston's history. That pushes it more into folk music territory, as it documents the lives of the likes of Red Cross founder Clara Barton and Susan B. Anthony, but the jangle of the acoustic guitars and elaborate arrangements make this very much a pop record that just happens to be about events that happened a long time ago. This isn't the first time that the band have played with music and history ― their 2007 debut took a similar approach with stories from the Great Depression. There's definitely a touch of the Decemberists in their music, which isn't a huge surprise, taking into account that both bands hail from Portland, but the Dimes take a far gentler approach that's surprisingly subtle. That means that songs about female characters come across as love songs instead of biographies. Considering how seamlessly the subject matter is spun throughout the music, the album gets rather close to getting too clever for its own good, such as on "Ballad of Winslow Homer," where each verse is based on the title of one of Homer's paintings. But melody triumphs, for the most part, making The King Can Drink The Harbour Dry an unexpected delight. (Pet Marmoset)