Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Death Cab for Cutie - Plans


I bought the new Death Cab For Cutie album, Plans, a few weeks ago. I am going to do my best to give an accurate review of the stengths and weaknesses of the album. But first I'll give a brief intro to the band. Death Cab for Cutie have long been a staple in the Indie Rock scene. Death Cab hail from Washington state where they have been perfecting their craft of distinctive guitar rifts and melancholic lyrics by their lead singer Ben Gibbard. Gibbard is the heart and soul of the band, being the main song writer his stories of personal heartbreak and triumph is what fuels Death Cab's lyrics and also keeps listeners coming back for more. Since 2000, Death Cab have been releasing albums under the famous indie label, Barsuk, based out of Seattle. They gained alot of attention with the last release, Transatlanticism. This album perfectly mixed indie rock with absolute desperation in Gibbard's lyrics.

On their latest album Plans, which happens to be their first album under major label Atlantic, Death Cab tried to mix their distinct sound with a more polished sound, which hits and misses depending on the song. My favorite songs on Plans are "Soul Meets Body", "I Will Follow You Into The Dark", and "Crooked Teeth". The first half of this album really mixes what Death Ca does best, good guitar parts, hooky lyrics and a good mix of upbeat and mellow tempos. But the second half of their album relies too heavily on the influence of Gibbard's side project, The Postal Service, in that it doesn't focus on guitar as much as synthesizers.

Overall Plans is a pretty good album. Death Cab is still an amazing band. If you guys get a chance to listen to some of this album I would definetly suggest it, but also try to get your hands on Transatlanticism, but it is hands down their best album. Also if you like them they are playing Oct. at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia (which I will be attending). One of my friends saw them last year and said they were absolutely amazing. Until later, have an awesome week guys.

7 Comments:

Blogger nicole said...

Mike,
I wonder when you say that Death Cab for a Cutie is from Washington state, where Nirvana is from, if they are in fact one of Death Cab's inspirations. I know that Nirvana is more hard rock than they are, but they are still a great band.
Since Plans is Death Cab's first album under a major label, do you think they are beginning to sell out? I will admit, I am not a huge fan of indie rock/punk rock/emo type of music, but from what I hear others comment is that they love certain unknown bands, and then they get played on MTV and "sell-out". It must be a difficult decision to make when faced with it-either take a big pay jump and become "famous" while having your music reach thousands of listeners, or stay dedicated to their loyal fans.
I am suprised that the lead singer also sings on ( I am assuming since you did not say manages or plays drums) The Postal Service, as I have heard of them before!
Have fun at the concert!

September 21, 2005 1:50 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hey,
My roommate actually got me into Deathcab for Cutie. She was also listening to The Postal Service long before the group made it big with their hit single "Such Great Heights." I agree that Transatlanticism is an amazing album and probably their best thus far. My favorite song from that album is "We looked Like Giants." I just recently purchased their latest album Plans and so far I really enjoy it. You can definitely tell that their sound is much more polished, which is probably on account of switching to a major record label. My favorite songs so far are "Different Names for the Same Thing" and "Crooked Teeth." I am actually going to the same concert at the Electric Factory at the end of October! I am looking forward to seeing Stars perform as well. Maybe I will see you there!

September 21, 2005 5:18 PM  
Blogger kendro said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 23, 2005 10:32 PM  
Blogger kendro said...

Hey these guys are good. I love hearing about new bands. well new to me at least. There are so many talented musicians out there that people don't know of. It's hard to think how some "mainstream" bands and singers get international attention with a horrible voice just because of breaks. Theres always something nice about a band who plays because they love it and people begin to recognize them. Postal service is good as well. I first heard them on Grey's Anatomy. Thats weird that he sings for both. didn't know that was legal/possible. Definately a good idea to add the link of the music video. Makes sense for yours, my music on my blog was pure entertainment! ha. have a good time at the concert!

September 23, 2005 10:34 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Hey Mike. I am not going to lie to you, before you I have never ever heard of this band before. I am not really into the Indie scene at all, I stick to classic rock. However, I like the clip that you put in your blog. The music isn't bad at all. It's extremely chill, unlike what I thought with a name that has Death Cab in it. Haha. Anyway I will definitely try to get a chance and listen to the CD sometime. I like these sorts of bands who sort of come out of nowhere, but they have awesome talent. I can't wait to hear more about this band. Thanks for the info!!

September 24, 2005 11:35 AM  
Blogger Mike Savino said...

Hey,

I just downloaded their new CD. I had never previsouly listened to them until a couple of days ago. They are definitely a band that I can see myself getting into. They are really chill and good background music for when you are doing work or something. I think my favorite song on the CD right now is "Your Heart is an Empty Room." I can't really place my finger on why I like it so much, but I do. I'm excited to see what the next band is that you will be talking about. I'm out.

September 25, 2005 9:53 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

I was definitely unaware that Postal Service was a side project of Gibbard. I have to say I had to look it up for myself and find out a little more on that. I hope you keep including these little bits of info in your blogs. I think that it’s great that musicians can get together to make music that has different elements to it, it makes for good musicians. Good review Death Cab’s new album, I’ve listened to it a few times and I have definitely enjoyed it. Do you go to a concert every week, or is this just a good month for you?

September 27, 2005 8:45 PM  

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