For Record Day 2014, indie-rock band Death Cab for Cutie offer up a collection of live recordings from the bands 2012 tour with the Magik*Magik Orchestra. The new vinyl/digital download album offers fans sixteen recordings that span the bands’ whole discography, playing songs from each of the bands albums and what-not. The whole album is a rather grand affair, showcasing some of the bands best material, and perhaps offering insight into a few overlooked tracks from their many albums. There’s a lot to be enjoyed here, as both Death Cab for Cutie and the Magik*Magik Orchestra really pull out the stops in presenting a new slant to some of the bands’ best tracks.
‘Live 2012′ doesn’t seem to come across as a typical live album experience. Death Cab for Cutie offer us a wonderful array of different tracks, ranging from some of their most well known songs to some tracks whose inclusion on the album feels questionable, but makes sense somehow. It’s certainly a delight to hear some of the bands’ older material getting the same love and attention that the newer material has had, as well as hearing some of the new ideas that the band and the Magik*Magik Orchestra add to the recordings. The whole album experience comes across as a lovely and intimate experience, showcasing the best of what the tour had to offer.
Some of the more hardcore fans of Death Cab for Cutie will find a great amount to enjoy on ‘Live 2012’. The experimentation in reworking some of the songs certainly adds an interesting slant to the music, giving it a great element that keeps a keen interest. However, as the album progresses, a number of tracks seem to display weaker qualities, with their reworkings and their new elements not really assisting them in any way, and in the case of a few tracks, actually taking away part of what made those songs so special in the first place. The idea of the tour is certainly interesting and works at some parts, but as demonstrated on the album it doesn’t seem to work for every single song, giving it a regrettably disappointing element.
‘Live 2012’ is certainly a nice and enjoyable release from Death Cab for Cutie. Some songs might not work as well as the band may have intended, but others certainly do, presenting brilliantly what the collaborative tour was meant to represent. It’s certainly not an essential release from the band, but for the hardcore fans of the band, ‘Live 2012’ will come across as a lovely offering from a band who has really delivered so many times throughout their career. For now, ‘Live 2012’ serves as a lovely little album that will hopefully sate the appetite until a new album comes along.
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Death Cab for Cutie Feat. Magik*Magik Orchestra’s ‘Live 2012’ is out now.