Death Cab For Cutie takes a wrong turn

The release of “Kintsugi” will leave longtime fans disappointed

BY JACK COWPER
STAFF WRITER

3 out of 5 Stars

Death Cab For Cutie, an American band known for passionate chords and bittersweet lyrics, released their eighth studio-released“Kintsugi.” The latest album was released March 27 under Atlantic Records.

The band has been releasing music since 1998 and has built a following and reputation. In many ways, the band can be viewed as a founding father for modern day indie rock. With their influential works like “Transatlanticism” and “Narrow Stairs,” it is hard not to consider them a notable band of this generation, but are the glory days of Death Cab long gone?

dcfc-kintsugiThe latest album “Kintsugi” starts off with the upbeat track “No Room In Frame.” After a first listen, listeners may think they are listening to the band, Two Door Cinema Club, which is not necessarily negative, it just shows that Death Cab may be losing some originality.

In some ways, the first three tracks sort of blend together instrumentally, all flowing in a similar style. But when the fourth track “Little Wanderer” starts, the music and words seem to be sync up in a beautiful, melodic way that paints a picture about a guy in love. It is the first time on the album that the listener can actually believe what lead vocalist Benjamin Gibbard is saying because the songs preceding did not have the same truth to them.

Most of the album contained songs that were too upbeat. It was not until the very last song in the album, “Binary Sea,” that listeners get a nostalgic feeling of old school Death Cab For Cutie. It is a refreshing relief to end the album with the older style of slow piano chords and softer vocals with lyrics that tell a story listeners wants to believe is real.

For some bands, it is positive when they evolve and create a new type of sound to prove to the listener that they are capable of more than the expected. Unfortunately, Death Cab For Cutie is not one of those bands that have the ability to transform their sound in such a way.

Bottomline, “Kintsugi” is not a dreadful album, just a disappointing one. From a technical standpoint there is nothing wrong, as the mistakes are merely artistic ones. Death Cab For Cutie casts a big shadow as gods of indie rock, but they do not quite live up to that shadow in this album.

While there are many problems with the album, there are the upsides as well. For one thing, it is an accomplishment in and of itself for a band with so many fans to release an eighth studio album. The other thing that may make listeners happy is seeing the beauty of the acoustic versions of songs from “Kintsugi.” When it is just Gibbard and an acoustic guitar, listeners may admire the acoustic versions more because has the old sound known from Death Cab.

As a new fan Death Cab, the sound of the overall feeling of this album could enjoyed while those who have followed the band may not enjoy it as much.

One can only hope that in the future they will revert back to their classic style of songwriting that initially captured everyone’s hearts and minds. The band has made no immediate plans of making any more music, so for the time being, listeners must sit back, look at the new album for what it is, a new album and a new sound. As said by the band themselves in their song “Black Sun,”

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