Entertainment Magazine

Benjamin Gibbard’s Former Lives

Posted on the 05 November 2012 by Thewildhoneypie @thewildhoneypie

ben gibbard former lives 550x550 BENJAMIN GIBBARDS FORMER LIVES

This may sound a bit cruel, but when I first heard Ben Gibbard (@gibbstack) was releasing his first solo album, my initial reaction was purely selfish. Surely, after his divorce from Zooey Deschanel, we would once again hear the heartbroken Ben, a struggling americana poet at his very best. After all, as any fellow Death Cab For Cutie fan can testify, some of Ben Gibbard’s best songwriting comes from a place of sadness. This self-deprecating cycle of emotional laundry, however, was not to be aired as it turns out – Former Lives is surprisingly sweet and a lot cheerier than many of us probably expected or even wanted.

Although the record’s songwriting isn’t nearly as relatable or resonating as Gibbard’s past work, the album still has a strong shape — just not as poignant or as personal as it could have been. This is, however, only his first solo outing. We have plenty of time to slump over and join collectively in a mass funk of inspired melodrama.

What Former Lives does for the Death Cab frontman, though, is celebrate and spotlight Ben Gibbard the musician, not Ben Gibbard the songwriter. Musically, the record stays within a similar wheelhouse of those produced by his band, but Gibbard is clearly using this as an opportunity to peel off in other directions. There’s an old-timey pop sensibility, featuring clearly evidient sounds from  60s British guitar/drum structures. The use of woodwind, organs, honkey tonk piano and other instrumentation also helps shape Former Lives’ vintage undertones.

A prime example of Gibbard’s blend of past and personal arrives in the form of “Duncan, Where Have You Gone?”, which features a remarkably haunting essence of Procol Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale”. Rather than lean too heavily on these influences, though, Gibbard balances them with solid ideas and sounds of his own. While the album may lack the fiery passion many were hoping to hear, Gibbard has chosen to take a step back and approach his first record with intelligence and tact rather than raw thoughts and feelings.

This approached allowed him to make some pretty clever and creative decisions, one of which was inviting fellow singer/songwriter Aimee Mann to join him on the track (a particular album highlight) “Bigger Than Love”. The song’s instrumentation is simple and straight forward, but brought together in a pure and wholly enjoyable way. The beautifully blended dual vocals, however, are make this song truly stand out.

I must admit, despite the lack of heartbroken Ben Gibbard, I really enjoyed Former Lives. Sure, the songs may not shake the ground or slice into your heart like cupid’s crooked arrow, but there’s a sense of fun and whimsy that’s enjoyable, likeable and warm. The record clearly comes from a happier place, and really, but really in all honesty, who are we to begrudge Ben that happiness?

3.5 BENJAMIN GIBBARDS FORMER LIVES


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Shilo Sanders- Son Of Deion Sanders Thanks Courts For Allowing Him To Live With...

    Shilo Sanders- Deion Sanders Thanks Courts Allowing Live With Pilar

    ChristianNews Shilo Sanders, the son of NFL Hall of Famer,  Deion Sanders took to twitter to “thank” the courts for allowing him to live with his mother, Pilar... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Firstladyb
    SPIRITUALITY
  • “I Feel Great”

    Feel Great”

    Jakub went to his doctor's office believing that he had a back injury, but returned with a chocking diagnosis instead. He had type 2 diabetes - in spite of... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT
  • July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    Sunday afternoon saw us return bravely to 24a even though there were more thundery showers foretold by the weatherman. I will admit that I guffawed at the... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Chrryblossomtat2
    GARDENING, HOME
  • Culinary Delicacies in Croatia- What to Eat and Drink in Croatia

    Culinary Delicacies Croatia- What Drink Croatia

    In my earlier post, we spoke about how Croatia is a stunning European destination, let us now see what are the culinary delicacies in Croatia or what you can... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Kash Pals
    FOOD & DRINK, A-CLASSER
  • #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: The Delta Putt

    #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: Delta Putt

    Do you consider yourself to be a strong putter or do you feel you could improve your make percentage on the green? Most amateurs could use help with the flat... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Golfforbeginners
    GOLF, SPORTS
  • Three Incredible Hikes in Southern Iceland3 Min Read

    Three Incredible Hikes Southern Iceland3 Read

    Nature takes center stage in Iceland, where there's a stunning view around every bend: massive glaciers, expansive lava fields, powerful waterfalls, black sand... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Healthytravelblog
    TRAVEL
  • What I Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    What Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    Pajama top: ELOQUII (14) | Pajama pants: ELOQUII (14) | Shoes: ASOS (similar) | Earrings: J. Crew ( same in different colors, similar concept in same color) |... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Wardrobeoxygen
    FASHION, SELF EXPRESSION, SHOPPING

Magazines