The Decemberists launch a new series of singles with the Always the Bridesmaid series. "Valerie Plame" is an uplifting valentine to the sexy former spy. The witty, literate lyrics and upbeat melody show off Colin Meloy's strengths, while the Decemberists show what the Salvation Army Band would sound like if they started to rock. The mid-tempo B-side, "O New England," is just as strong. Oh, Morrissey, how your British example has liberated the pens of an entire generation of American indie poppers.