5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Death Cab For Cutie,
This review is from: Narrow Stairs (Audio CD)
Already being a fan of the band Death Cab For Cutie, I can honestly say that I was a little shocked by some aspects of the new album. The 7 minute long epic 'I Will Possess Your Heart' is definitely a new stepping stone in the increasing journey of the band, and one that in my oppinion is a step back. Sure enough it has some nice aspects: the guitar has a nice echo and some sweet effects, and the bass line is porbably one of the hookiest pieces of music the band has written to date - mainly due to the fact that the same bass line is repeated over and over without change through the entire 7 minutes of the song. This does make the song a tad boring, and quite tiresome.
The opening track is what you would expect from Death Cab For Cutie. It follows along the same lines as previous album openers 'Marching Bands Of Manhattan' from Plans and 'The New Year' from Transatlanticism. Each album often contatining an easily accessible, slow building, catchy Indie-Rock masterpiece. This is the case again on this album, however with a slight twist. A Hard-Rock plunge on the guitars for the closing moments of the song comes as a new introduction to a familiar sound on this album, and one that works surpirisingly well with their trademark accessible Indie Pop.
No Sunlight is another stab at their harder work, with a catchy chorus and some beautiful tinkly guitar work. Often reminiscent of early Bloc Party, and Long Division is also of a similar sound. 'Talking Bird' is a slower track with long drawn out vocals that spread the seed of lyrical beauty as Gibbard wails metaphor after metaphor often refering to lonliness and being caged in. 'You Can Do Better Than Me' initially sounds like a christmas jingle, with scintillating bell sounds jingling in the foreground and swooping bass lines. The lyrics are some of Gibbards most honest to date, trully epitamising his lyrical beauty and depth with ingenious poetic lines.
'Grapevine Fires' and 'Your New Twin Sized Bed' may well be some of Death Cab For Cutie's greatest work to date, closely resembled to the work on Transatlanticism. Lonliness and love: often a key ingredient to Gibbard's writing has never been brought across with such poetic beauty before, and the hooky guitar work and fear inspiring vocal courage is brought across to an apocalyptic extent. 'The Ice is Getting Thinner' is a true closing to the album; not letting it continue anywhere else but a conclusion giving the album a trully fulfilling feel.
Although the album portrays some of Death Cab For Cutie's greatest work to date, the other half of the album, however, feels a little incomplete - mainly due to the more experimentalisation used from the band. This is not a bad thing, it gives the band a more broad scale of sound, it just seems like the band may need some more time before they're new sound can be perfected. That is to say, a fantastic album, that could lead to much greater things.