Album of the Week: Death Cab for Cutie, 'Thank You for Today'

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Death Cab for Cutie, 'Thank You for Today'
Death Cab for Cutie, 'Thank You for Today' (Courtesy of artist)

Death Cab for Cutie's new album, 'Thank You for Today' delivers exactly what their fans expect for their ninth studio album. While the critics of this new body of work have spent most of the page highlighting that it's the first release without the production of former bandmate Chris Walla, they missed the opportunity to celebrate the writing of one of the best songsmiths in indie rock. Ben Gibbard has been persistently pushing Death Cab for Cutie forward while many of his peers have been caught up in the trappings of what's trending.

On 'Thank You for Today,' Gibbard's careful approach to songwriting pulls together 10 songs that give you a sense of time and place in his life. It's a characteristic that has been part of his process since he started the band and when he has detours with solo albums and The Postal Service. There might not be a more consistent voice in indie rock by an artist with a career that spans over two decades and multiple Grammy nominations. On the new album, Gibbard sings about the changing landscape of home and reflects on the relationships orbiting his life. He is thoughtful and sincere throughout the album and there isn't a song that makes you feel like they tried to make a "hit" on this time. Each chorus and verse fits neatly into the Death Cab for Cutie sound that oscillates between delicate poetic lyrics and light tones of pop rock.

The closing track on the album should become a personal favorite for longtime fans who have been listening since the band's Barsuk days. "60 & Punk" is a brilliant exercise in becoming self-aware and reconciling what we know now versus what we all wish we knew at twenty-two. Gibbard sings about a musician who is clinging to the lifestyle of their youth. Like a soundtrack to a movie, he narrates the scene and then injects it with his own personal emotion. He sings, "there's nothing elegant in being a drunk, it's nothing righteous being sixty and a punk." Whether the song is about a real person in Gibbard's life or possibly an expression of his own anxiety, it's a masterpiece when it comes to capturing the emotional tone of a great Death Cab for Cutie song.

'Thank You for Today' is out now on Atlantic Records.

Resources


Death Cab for Cutie - Official Site

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