DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE - PLANS


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Album: Plans
Artist: Death Cab for Cutie
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Before obtaining a copy of this album, I kept reading that it was narcissistic, and not up to Death Cab standards. People bitching that DCFC was on a major, and have changed their sound – in a negative way. Death Cab exploded in the last two years, more or less related to two factors that weren’t related to the band itself.

First, the OC basically adopted the band as the musical theme for one of the main characters. As the show’s popularity increased, so did the amount of “new” Death Cab fans. The second factor was the release of The Postal Service album: Give Up. Ben provided the lyrics for this amazing record. The negative factor is people now want everything Ben touches to be electro pop goodness, like that created on Give Up. These people forget that Death Cab is Ben’s main project, and the band has been running strong for many years and many albums.

After hearing the album, I am completely lost as to how any fan of the band can’t like this album. After hearing this album, I am completely lost as to how any one can’t like this album.

The album starts with the track, Marching into Manhattan. The simplistic guitar riff and Ben’s love sick vocals drive the song, only to be accompanied by some guitar layers and eventually some subtle drums. This is classic Death Cab sound mixed with some of the sounds added on the last album.

Soul Meets Body is up next. Some nicely programmed drums and Chris Walla on harmonies. Upbeat and very danceable, I’m still not sure what the hipsters are complaining about. I challenge someone not to sing along to the “ba ba ba bas” in the chorus.

I’ve already talked about the Phil Collin-esque gold the band produces in Different Names for the Same Place in the Friday’s grab bag, so I will move on – PHIL COLLINS y’all. Sorry, had to.

After the success of the Home split he made with Andrew Kinney and several solo shows, emotional acoustic songs are becoming familiar to fans. I’ll Follow You into the Dark would have fit perfectly on that EP, and serves as a nice slow down after four jams thick with sounds and layers. I can see this being the first song of the encore, as Ben resurfaces solo before getting joined by the band.

A lot of people are calling Ben conceited for writing Someday You’ll Be Loved (or I should say including on the first major label release). This is simply a song of some girl who he believes can’t get over him. I’m not sure I see the big deal. Songwriters constantly write songs about getting their hearts ripped apart, why not show the truth. Breakups go both ways. Being honest about it is a good thing. This is the darkest song on the album, but it is real. Men sleep with women and leave, and women do the same. Get over it. Eventually we all do, just like this song says.

The next highlight is Crooked Teeth. This is the single, or so I have read. It’s catchy, with a thick bass line and a sound that reminds me a lot of the older releases: simple and melodic (except for the heavy metal guitar solo that sneaks up on you out of nowhere).

Perhaps my favorite track on the album is Brothers on a Hotel Bed. The piano intro sets the tone for some of Ben’s best lyrics on the album. The nice drums accompany the melody perfectly. “You may tire of me, as our December sun is setting cause I’m not who I used to be. No longer easy on the eyes, but these wrinkles masterfully disguise the youthful boy below.”

Sorry for the novel, but I am just very impressed by this album. I think the hype the band has got lately makes it almost impossible to deliver an album that people judged for what it is. If you judge this solely on what it is, you will find yourself one of the best releases of the year.


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