Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

Game Of Thrones Season 8 - End Game With Sinhala Subtitles

Flipboard

Flipboard

Death Cab for Cutie - Thank You For Today Music Album Reviews

The ninth album from Ben Gibbard and Co. is their strongest album of the 2010s, a dubious achievement that nonetheless deserves recognition for its rare moments of shining, indie-pop songwriting.

On “Gold Rush,” the first single from Thank You for Today, Ben Gibbard waxes about the many ways his native Seattle has changed over the past two decades, mourning memories of old buildings and intimate moments under street lamps before sighing: “Please don’t change/Stay the same.” The accompanying video follows suit, a dorky-haircut take on the Verve’s iconic “Bittersweet Symphony” visual that features Gibbard getting knocked around by rude passersby during a daytime neighborhood stroll, ending up trapped in a sea of pedestrians glued to their phones. The get-off-my-lawn-ness of it all isn’t fresh territory for Death Cab, a band reputed for cloying sincerity that has nonetheless occasionally showed some teeth regarding the ephemera of modern life. Recall the closing moments of 1998’s Something About Airplanes’ “Amputations,” which samples a speech that features the following excerpt: “In this modern day, we have instant coffee and instant tea—instant disbelief, that’s the reason we will never become anything.”

But while “Amputations” is indicative of Death Cab’s early, beloved Barsuk days—chiming guitars, soft-focus songwriting, Gibbard’s endearingly unadorned vocals—”Gold Rush” is one of a few moments on Thank You for Today that embody the lows of the band’s 2010s output. Constructed around a sample of Yoko Ono’s “Mind Train,” the song feels inert in its steady chug, with watery processing laid atop Gibbard’s vocal take. Thank You for Today marks the first album Death Cab have put to tape since longtime member and in-house producer Chris Walla’s departure, but it’s the second record of theirs helmed by studio vet Rich Costey, whose credits include several Muse albums and Interpol’s divisive major-label move Our Love to Admire. Once again, his production touches lend these 10 songs a competent, anonymous sheen.

While it’s tempting to fully blame Costey’s presence for Thank You for Today’s emptier moments, the fault unmistakably lays with Gibbard and the gang. The album’s faults are a byproduct of Death Cab’s tendency to dip their toes into textures incongruous with Gibbard’s songwriting, which emerged around their 2008 LP Narrow Stairs. While that album found great success in exploring a variety of styles, from Pet Sounds chamber-pop to tricky math-rock breakdowns, its 2011 follow-up, Codes and Keys, went full-bore in ditching guitars for airless atmospherics and brooding song structures, making for the band’s most dismal effort to date—a classification that even Gibbard himself agrees with.

Thank You for Today isn’t as uniformly bland as Codes and Keys—if anything, it’s the strongest Death Cab album of the 2010s, a dubious achievement that nonetheless deserves recognition. But there’s moments that suggest Gibbard and the rest of Death Cab are still struggling through the beige malaise that has cast a pall over their more recent work. “I Dreamt We Spoke Again” suffers from more vocal processing along with drifting tones and a cheaply stolen New Order bassline; the plodding “When We Drive” possesses all the charm of a car commercial, while “You Moved Away” smothers its lyrical musings on time passed and friends left behind—themes that course throughout Thank You For Today’s often-bloodless veins—with pitter-patter percussion and soupy atmospherics.

Closing track “60 & Punk” is possibly one of the most acerbic songs Gibbard’s written since Plans’ infamous “Someday You Will Be Loved,” casting a critical eye on besotted, long-in-the-tooth lifers over echo-laden piano and brushed drums before arriving at a crushing, open-ended question: “Were you happier when you were poor?” Even amid its melancholia, there’s something funny and self-aware about the 42-year-old Gibbard referring to a past-his-prime bandleader as “A superhero growing bored/With no one to save anymore.”

Prior to Thank You for Today, it’s been slim pickings in terms of album highlights in Death Cab’s 2010s oeuvre—so it’s something of a relief that this latest release offers a few of the band’s strongest songs since Narrow Stairs, gossamer indie-pop gems that recall the band’s glory days, if only for a few minutes. “Summer Years” twists and turns with interlocking guitar lines and a sneakily paced drumbeat, while the peppy “Autumn Love” recalls The Photo Album in its verse structure, before hitting the type of effervescent chorus that Atlantic-era Death Cab have occasionally excelled at.

Then there’s “Your Hurricane,” possibly the loveliest Death Cab song in more than a decade, a ballad cloaked in vintage-4AD guitars and an emotive vocal take from Gibbard that can hang with his best work. Scuff up the clean-sounding production and maybe close your eyes, and it sounds classic—a broken-clock reminder that, despite recent missteps, Gibbard’s still capable of these silken moments without sounding totally adrift. Capitulating to nostalgia is often an unwise stylistic choice, but perhaps Death Cab could look back a bit more in the future. The past doesn’t always have to be a hindrance—sometimes it can just be a nice place to rest for a while.

View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

Dell XPS 13 9380 (2019) Review

Dell's flagship laptop returns to us in 2019 with refreshed specs, a brand new webcam design and a cheaper model. We review the XPS 13 9380 in full.
Should I Buy The Dell XPS 13 (2019)?
The XPS 13 for 2019 ticks all the boxes. It looks great, the build quality is excellent, it’s nice and portable and has a wide range of specs to choose from.
While not a massive upgrade from last year's model, it’s had some solid refinement including getting the webcam back into the top bezel and also introduces a more affordable Core i3 edition.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Samsung Galaxy S10e

Samsung's Galaxy S range has been updated and here we compare the S10e - the new 'lite' model - to last years' Galaxy S9 to help you decide which phone is best for you.
Should I Buy The Samsung Galaxy S10e Or Samsung Galaxy S9?
The S10e could be the sleeper hit of this year. It doesn’t have the embedded fingerprint sensor of the S10 and S10 Plus or their triple cameras, but it comes with the same processors, new screen design, ultra-wide camera, and all in a compact and comfortable format with a smaller price-tag.
That being said, the S9 is still an excellent device, and its new, lower price makes it a definite bargain.

Huawei P30 Pro Release Date, Price & Specs Rumours

Huawei's MWC press conference didn't include an announcement of the P30 range. Instead, it will hold a launch event in Paris at the end of March. We round up rumours, speculation and more on the new Huawei line-up, including the expected P30 release date, price and specifications.

Huawei Mate 20 X Review

The Huawei Mate 20 X is an obscenely large smartphone but it has many of the features of the Mate 20 Pro for less. Here’s our full review of the huge premium slab
Should I Buy The Huawei Mate 20 X?
With a bigger screen, bigger battery and smaller notch than the Mate 20 Pro, the Huawei Mate 20 X also has the same camera set up and adds a headphone jack. If you want the most screen possible, it might be for you. 
You lose the curved display, wireless charging, full water resistance and secure Face ID but for many that won’t matter if a huge display, outstanding camera and great performance are top of your list. If you want a normal size phone, get the Mate 20 Pro.

iHealth Core Review

This smart scale from iHealth offers detailed body composition measurements, from BMI to visceral fat rating. Find out what we think in our iHealth Core review.
Should I Buy The iHealth Core? We like the way that the Core and Lite scales interact with the other iHealth products, and the Core offers a bunch of useful metrics with which to monitor your health. Setup is easy and the app's graphs give a decent visual representation of your health-metric trends as you progress.

Like Fan Page