Death Cab For Cutie

By - Oct 1st, 2005 02:52 pm
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By Eric Lewin

Death Cab for Cutie‘s Transatlanticism was the indie gorilla that kept hope alive for pop music; it seemed back on the upswing. A band with R.E.M.’s unique combination of indie smarts and pop sensibility had finally come home to roost. Even more hopeful is the notion that DCFC could match or, dare we dream, trump themselves with Plans. Is it possible? Well, not yet.

Plans picks and chooses elements from DCFC’s back catalogue, and the results are hit and miss. Still remaining is Ben Gibbard’s melodic genius, which has very few contemporary rivals. “I Will Follow You into the Dark,” a beautiful acoustic number, might be the Prozac generation’s first wedding song. “Your Heart is An Empty Room” revisits some of Death Cab’s better baroque offerings and even steals a piano fill from Transatlanticism’s “Lightness.” Did they think no one would notice?

Noted success aside, DCFC’s straying from their signature nuances is like watching a fastball pitcher try a split-finger knuckler – some of their liberties end up on the wrong side of the fence. The virtuosic homage to Rush at the end of “Different Names for the Same Thing” is an irrelevant coda to a bland song. Also gone is a good deal of DCFC’s pessimism: “Someday You Will Be Loved” is an enthusiastic goodbye to bad memories, for better or worse. After all, it’s hard to be sad when you’re getting shout-outs from Seth Cohen. Smile, My Space kids. Your favorite band will smile with you.  DEATH CAB FOR CUTIEPlansAtlanticwww.deathcabforcutie.com

Death Cab for Cutie‘s Transatlanticism was the indie gorilla that kept hope alive for pop music; it seemed back on the upswing. A band with R.E.M.’s unique combination of indie smarts and pop sensibility had finally come home to roost. Even more hopeful is the notion that DCFC could match or, dare we dream, trump themselves with Plans. Is it possible? Well, not yet.

Plans picks and chooses elements from DCFC’s back catalogue, and the results are hit and miss. Still remaining is Ben Gibbard’s melodic genius, which has very few contemporary rivals. “I Will Follow You into the Dark,” a beautiful acoustic number, might be the Prozac generation’s first wedding song. “Your Heart is An Empty Room” revisits some of Death Cab’s better baroque offerings and even steals a piano fill from Transatlanticism’s “Lightness.” Did they think no one would notice?

Noted success aside, DCFC’s straying from their signature nuances is like watching a fastball pitcher try a split-finger knuckler – some of their liberties end up on the wrong side of the fence. The virtuosic homage to Rush at the end of “Different Names for the Same Thing” is an irrelevant coda to a bland song. Also gone is a good deal of DCFC’s pessimism: “Someday You Will Be Loved” is an enthusiastic goodbye to bad memories, for better or worse. After all, it’s hard to be sad when you’re getting shout-outs from Seth Cohen. Smile, My Space kids. Your favorite band will smile with you.  VS

 

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