Strictly 4 My Seth Cohenz: What do people think of the new Death Cab album? I've been down since I heard "You Can Play These Songs With Chords" the first time I ever got really drunk. (I realize it is a cliche to say you have been a fan of a band since way back. I am not saying that. This was like 2002. Nobody but fetuses call that way back.)
All my favorite bands get more instead of less poppy as albums pass (See also: Belle and Sebastian on "Dear Catastrophe Waitress). I am okay with this 'cause I am a proponent of hooks and melodies. Poppy don't necessarily equal lame.
Let's go more or less track for track while I listen to this thing:
"Marching Bands Of Manhattan" - Romantic hyperbole. Crappy when done by an awkward girl in your ninth grade english class. Great when done by this band. Neat-o hook: "your love is gonna drown."
"Soul Meets Body" - Supergood single I heard for the first time on the radio in LA this weekend. Initially the high note bugged me but I'm a grownup about it now three days later. Dig it. Is that banjo? How do instruments work? I'm a sucker for any song with "bah-bah-bahs," pretty much.
"Summer Skin" - One of your typical Death Cab motifs: you and I are making out until summer ends and it gets cold. Love as something you leave in your pocket and forget about. A "meh" version of the very good "Tiny Vessels" off Transatlantacism.
"Different Names For The Same Thing" - Solid ballad. Would have more to say if I had emotions.
"Someday You Will Be Loved" - Reeks of Train-style "Meet Virginia" "Drops of Jupiter" "I am writing this in hopes that scads of girls with low self esteem will identify with this song's generalities" song stylings. Boo, Gibbs, Boo. The same girls would identify with another "District Sleeps," and that would keep you from having to write a bad song, like this one.
"I Will Follow You Into The Dark" - A solo acoustic love letter slash travelogue, uber-cleverly-worded: this song is almost a pitch-perfect reset of B&S' "Piazza New York Catcher," minus baseball references, right down to the phrasing. But I love that song, and it would probably be awesome if Ben Gibbard sang it, so that grandfathers this song into the "strongly awesome" category.
"Crooked Teeth" - Hooray! In-betweeny feelings like drunken fuckregret are the ones Death Cab does best! This one r00lz. Dig the harmonies toward the end.
"What Sarah Said" - Gibbs has a shoe fixation. Every other Postal Service and DCFC song, dude mentions his kicks. He's staring at them at the beginning of this song. That said: I heart the shit out of this song. If America has to have a Coldplay, at least it's these guys. "So who's gonna watch you die?" Dark. Dark, Gibbs, dark.
"Brothers On A Hotel Bed" - Very Kanye "Heard 'Em Say," in that the intro prepares you for a completely different song than the one you end up hearing. Alas, the song you end up hearing never really, uhm, starts. A big waste of what I think might be occasional steel guitar.
"Stable Song" - Will not be able to hum this once I am done listening to it, which is too bad. A non-note to end the album on.
So, upon first listen: not as bad as I suppose the haters would like it to be. Not half as good as Transatlanticism. A solid record that might worm its way into my indie-heart upon repeated listens, if I can tear myself away from the NP's Twin Cinema for long enough to make that happen.
Donald makes music and writes about lingerie parties. I write about music and make...gee, I wish I could say "lingerie," if only for the sake of parallelism, and the fact that lingerie models would probably be lounging around all the time.
In keeping with the write-about-music/post-a-song policy here on hkatznyu, here's a song by a band from Portland who recorded their first album in their kitchen. It r0x.
The Thermals - "Remember Today" (Right click/save as)