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Review: Death Cab For Cutie- Thank You for Today [2018]

Posted on the 19 August 2018 by Outroversion @outroversion

Review: Death Cab For Cutie- Thank you for today [2018]

Death Cab For CutieThank You For Today

I’ve been taken aback on occasion the past week where people have wanted to know what I thought have Death Cab’s newest album but have said they were afraid to ask.

I’ll get this out of the way right away- I love this album and it’s better than half of their catalog. I’ll drop in a few quotes from these conversations through the interview to capture my original thoughts on the album as I’m about 10 listens in now, I probably haven’t listened to an album that many times since People’s Key, not including the Hamilton Soundtrack lol.

With this in mind I looked back at my review of Kitsunagi and how disenchanted I had become by their output,

The number of people who will actively listen to this album is a fraction of those that will have it on their hard drives”

If it wasn’t completely accurate I’d take it back, as I would the things I said directly to Ben which led to him blocking me on social media. But it was all true, unfortunately.

“Stay. Stay the same.”

I hated Gold Rush when I first heard it and yet… well I put it well in a conversation when I was asked about it yesterday-

“I HATED it. I called it one of the worst death cab songs. Listened to the album, fell in love with the album and consequently every song on it. It fits much better in the grander scheme of the album rather than an example of death cab’s sound and in that sense it suddenly is representative of death cab’s history look at i will possess your heart, soul meets body, the sound of settling, i was a kaleidoscope all leading singles off their albums not necessarily typical death cab songs but so perfect on their respective albums.”

The reality is I don’t care about most bands. Most bands can release a shit album and I’ll just forget it exists but Death Cab have soundtracked a lot of my life and pretty soon it’s going to be the majority of my life and if Conor Oberst can pop up every few years and perfectly sum up my existential crises then why did Ben Gibbard stop?

Ok, that’s being dramatic. Fact of the matter Ben’s been writing his way out of his own tribulations and if you’re not aware of what those are- just listen to this album. His honesty within the 33 minutes of Thank You For Today is unashamed and there were times where I felt like I shouldn’t be listening it was so unrestrained.

Ben’s been astoundingly honest about Chris Walla‘s departure from the band, detailing their conflicts and a glass ceiling on where the band were able to go artistically. The political landscape in America has been ubiquitous in art released from across the Atlantic in the last year or so but it’s refreshingly absent here and you do feel that if Chris was in the room, it wouldn’t be.

“This album is SO good that during the first couple of listens I gradually gained back all the respect i’d lost over the years and feel like i need to rethink my attitude towards the 2011-2015 era.”

You may not have noticed but with the exception of “Stay Young, Go Dancing” the closing track on Death Cab albums have been slower, ponderous tracks and they’ve returned to that with the perfect 60 & Punk. This track ranks alongside some of their best. This will be on their setlists until they retire and at the time of the Narrow Stairs era, that’s all I wanted from a DCFC album. Just a couple of tracks to improve already perfect setlists, the truth of what happened to their sets after that lead me to nearly walking out of my last Death Cab concert, I only didn’t because I knew it was the last time I’d be at one.

Make no mistake, there are two or three tracks on this album that aren’t very good at all. However, look back at Narrow Stairs, at Plans, at any of their albums and if you’re honest there always has been; but the highs were so high it didn’t matter. It was just when the peaks really weren’t that far off that it became noticeable, here it is once more forgiveable and we can only be thankful they’ve reached that standard again.

I just think that for half a decade Ben was afraid of saying too much and let the music do the talking. I know other people feel very differently here but I don’t particularly care what the music sounds like as long as what’s being said is important. This is why I don’t care for pop music but of course, a lot of people do.

In a time where we’re all getting older and personally I find it harder to get excited about music, Death Cab have always engaged a passion within me, at times it wasn’t positive but it’s because I knew they were playing within themselves; they weren’t giving all they had and nothing frustrates me more than people not achieving their potential. Earlier in the year a recording of their first ever show was put online and I woke up at 5am excited to listen to it before work, ain’t nobody get me out of bed like that.

When this album was put online to stream by the band earlier in the week I went on a coastal walk just to have the perfect setting to listen to the album. Turns out the album doesn’t need the perfect setting, the scene is set by Ben’s lyricism and the band’s understated sound, the way it should be.


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