Posts Tagged With: Benjamin Gibbard

Kintsugi – Death Cab For Cutie

Indie-rock band Death Cab For Cutie offer up their latest album ‘Kintsugi’, their first album in their long career featuring a different producer following on from the departure of member Chris Walla. On ‘Kintsugi’, we see Death Cab for Cutie offering up more of their quintessential and charming indie-rock music, partnering together lead singer Benjamin Gibbard’s introspective lyrical style with enjoyable instrumentals. In many ways, it’s a very typical Death Cab for Cutie album, featuring accessible and enjoyable tracks that are certain to become popular fan favourites, though there’s elements of experimentation here and there, showcasing the band as one who are always looking forward and making attempts to broaden their own style in any way they can. 

There’s a lovely element running throughout ‘Kintsugi’, which seems to push forward a forlorn and somewhat diminished perspective on love once again (differing from the bands’ previous 2012 album ‘Codes & Keys’). It seems thematically, things have taken a turn from the bands’ previous album effort, with Gibbard indulging much more in ideas and concepts previously explored on his earlier material, though this time with a much added level of maturity. Although we’ve heard these themes and ideas before, Gibbard pushes out his own ideas and themes with effortless ease, making everything sound natural, without really being forced upon the listener. 

Death Cab For Cutie have pushed out a rather enjoyable album effort with ‘Kintsugi’, which is offers up charm and moodiness in equal measures and both in accessible and enjoyable ways. Although there’s much that works well for ‘Kintsugi’, it seems certain parts of the album drag on somewhat, acting a little sluggishly on the overall palette being presented by the album itself. Whilst there’s many enjoyable and accessible tracks being presented by the band, it seems others don’t really match up all that well, sounding a little like filler material on an otherwise strong album.

‘Kintsugi’ might not be the strongest Death Cab For Cutie album, though it is certainly a step up from their previous album effort, offering up a lot more in terms of themes, concepts and ideas. Many of the elements being presented on the album work well, with the poorer tracks not impacting too greatly on the overall album experience (though it could certainly benefit from trimming here and there). It seems work with a new producer hasn’t impacted too greatly on Death Cab For Cutie’s overall sound, though will the departure of Chris Walla impact on the bands’ follow up album to ‘Kintsugi’?

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆ 3/5

Selected Songs:

  • No Room In Frame
  • Little Wanderer
  • Good Help (Is So Hard To Find)
  • Ingénue

Death Cab For Cutie’s eighth studio album ‘Kintsugi’ is out now.

Categories: Albums, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Former Lives – Benjamin Gibbard

‘Former Lives’ is the first full-length solo-album by Death Cab for Cutie’s front-man Benjamin Gibbard. The past few years have seen Gibbard doing a number of solo-recordings and some collaborations with other artists (including his masterpiece work ‘The Postal Service’ with Dntel’s Jimmy Tamborello). ‘Former Lives’ is Gibbard’s chance to now express himself fully to his own design, which is an interesting move, considering how well he’s been able to express himself with Death Cab for Cutie’s studio albums.

The album has a quite a jolly atmosphere to it. Most of the songs are tinged with a sort of enjoyment and happiness, making for a highly enjoyable listening experience. It is a rather relaxing album, just oozing out feelings of happiness and such. It certainly makes a difference to some of Death Cab for Cutie’s albums, which tend to drift in-between jolly songs and darker songs, (though this effect was much less so on their last album ‘Codes & Keys’). It makes the whole album a highly enjoyable album to listen too.

What makes the album interesting is that due to Ben’s distinctive writing style, and singing style, that it makes the album almost sound like a lost Death Cab album. It sort of sounds like their much earlier work, from around ‘These Are The Facts And We’re Voting Yes’ or ‘The Photo Album’. It’s a welcome sound, as it was during their early era that Death Cab had my favourite songs. Thus I feel a sort of joy for this album, for sounding so much like their earlier work that was so highly enjoyable. There are many enjoyable songs on the album, all of which have gentle feelings to them. Each song compliments the next in terms of it’s pacing, sound and the emotions it gives off.

For his first full-solo effort, Benjamin Gibbard has done himself justice. No album is perfect, and this is certainly no exception, but it is a wonderful solo album. Perhaps it sounds a little too much like Death Cab for Cutie, but it is irrelevant, considering how much Gibbard makes up that band. The album is just Gibbard’s own effort, and it doesn’t require the effort of rest of Death Cab. It is a good solo effort, and it puts me in anticipation of anything to come from Ben Gibbard, both in terms of his solo work, and his work in Death Cab.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Dream Song
  • Something’s Rattling (Cowpoke)
  • Duncan, Where Have You Gone?
  • I’m Building A Fire
Categories: Albums, Old Album Reviews (2012) | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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