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Artist: Death Cab for Cutie
Label: Barsuk
Genre: Alternative Rock
Release: Jan 2001   My Rating: 0
Duration: 54:19
Summary: Death Cab for Cutie turn difficult personal issues into literary rock songs while straddling the narrow line between blissful pop and driving indie rock. The Northwest act's songs soar high like Built to Spill's or Beulah's, and almost every track on "The Photo Album" is as musically bouncy and upbeat as the best of those bands. As catchy as the songs on "The Photo Album" may be, though, it's really front man Benjamin Gibbard's comfort with laying his emotional issues bare that makes this an excellent album. "Styrofoam Plates" is the most stunning track, with words that leave chills long after they've disappeared. As Gibbard sings about anger for a dead father ("It's not quite a stretch to say you were not quite a father / But a donor of seeds to a poor single mother / That would raise us alone / We never saw the money / It went down your throat down the hole in your belly"), his stark honesty makes this dysfunctional family story the most compelling piece of this album. The other issues of clumsy relationships pale a little in comparison, but "The Photo Album" still leaves little doubt that Death Cab deserve all the indie rock accolades they have received. "--Jennifer Maerz"


Artist: Death Cab for Cutie
Label: Atlantic / Wea
Genre: Alternative & Punk
Release: Jan 2005   My Rating: 0
Duration: 44:19
Summary: When an indie-rock band as intimately and fiercely loved as Death Cab for Cutie makes the inevitable major-label jump, it often telegraphs a painful death. Witness Husker Du, the Replacements, Nirvana--hell, even R.E.M. After a successful four-album run on tiny Seattle imprint Barsuk, however, Death Cab for Cutie just might buck the trend on its Atlantic premiere. Yes, you can grumble about the production (a little too slick), the proportion of ballads (a little too many) and the overall feeling of restraint (a little too much), but ultimately the album delivers everything the group does best in emotional, experimental songs such as "What Sarah Said" and "I Will Follow You into the Dark," which both blend stark lyrical details with acoustic guitars and soft-focus electronics. In "Soul Meets Body," meanwhile, songwriter Ben Gibbard has come up with the kind of blissful, beatific pop song that's capable of disarming even the harshest skeptic. "A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere," he sings. "--Aidin Vaziri"
Catching up with Death Cab for Cutie

"Something About Airplanes"

"We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes"

"Forbidden Love [EP]"

"The Photo Album"

"You Can Play These Songs with Chords"

"Transatlanticism"




Artist: Death Cab for Cutie
Label: Barsuk
Genre: Rock
Release: Jan 1999   My Rating: 0
Duration: 43:19
Summary: The first instrument you notice upon listening to "Something About Airplanes" is the cello on "Bend to Squares." It fades out, soon enough replaced by the familiar electric guitar, but it sets this album's offbeat mood. Experimentation and pop hooks strike a perfect balance on this debut from the Bellingham, Washington-based Death Cab for Cutie. The quartet follow in the fine tradition of area emo-pop bands like Modest Mouse, 764-HERO, and Built to Spill, but it's hard not to notice bits of Quasi and the Beatles popping up. Of course, the Death Cab formula is a bit different--"President of What?" is driven by Farfisa, not Fender; "Champagne from a Paper Cup" is a slow-burner--there's not much pop glee found in a song that begins "I think I'm Drunk Enough to Drive You Home Now"; and--every once in a while--the oddball vocal sample kicks in (presumably from a long-forgotten movie, a la vintage Jawbreaker). It all makes for a brilliant debut and a fine addition to the canon of Northwest emo-pop late-'90s style. "--Jason Verlinde"


Artist: Death Cab for Cutie
Label: Barsuk
Genre: rock
Release: Jan 2003   My Rating: 0
Duration: 45:39
Summary: With songs equal to those on "We Have the Facts" and a lush, brilliant production that continues what "The Photo Album" started, "Transatlanticism" is easily Death Cab's best record to date. Much attention has duly been focused on doe-eyed singer/lyricist Ben Gibbard, co-star of the Postal Service phenomenon, and Ben's voice is as strange, beautiful, and as strong as ever on these songs, which deal with the difficulties of long-distance relationships. But guitarist/producer Chris Walla once again proves himself to be the band's secret weapon, layering subtle sonic touches throughout "Transatlanticism", which is most definitely a "headphone record." This Seattle quartet is one of the only bands to really have picked up the intelligent, emotionally resonant, and guitar-driven indie-pop torch that Built to Spill briefly lit in the mid-1990s (before themselves heading off to the stoner-rock territory). DCFC themselves seem poised to finally break out to a wider audience, and they truly deserve it with this disc. "--Mike McGonigal"


Artist: Death Cab for Cutie
Label: Barsuk
Genre: Rock
Release: Jan 2000   My Rating: 0
Duration: 35:32
Summary: On their debut album, 1999's "Something About Airplanes", Death Cab for Cutie proved there's a reason why Northwest music critics continue to sing their praises. The foursome combined the emo sounds of Modest Mouse and 764-Hero with an inventive, and often sly, sentimentality. It worked wonders, but still sounded a little too lo-fi. Luckily, on "We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes" the group has figured out all the production nuances that flawed that auspicious debut. The opening "Title Track" begins by sounding both crappy and shallow, but the band is merely pulling your leg; two minutes later, the tune expands into a gorgeous, well-produced masterpiece. The album never looks back. Ben Gibbard's songwriting continues to evolve--"Company Calls" segues into, what else, the slower "Company Calls Epilogue"--while the simple lyrics of "For What Reason" and "405" tell infectious stories that demand repeated listenings. Proof positive the Northwest is still churning out great music. "--Jason Verlinde"


Artist: Death Cab for Cutie
Label: Barsuk
Genre: Rock
Release: Jan 2002   My Rating: 0
Duration: 66:47
Summary: Full Title - You Can Play These Songs With Chords. Album includes Out-Of-Print rarities and never-before released songs. 18 tracks. Barsuk Records. 2002.