Death Cab for Cutie

Album Review 550: Death Cab for Cutie – We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes

Jake: 100/100

Tom: 100/100

Overview: Rarely do you find sophomore albums as good as We Have the Facts. Death Cab for Cutie proves just how talented they are at songwriting and album composition with this monumental concept album.  On first listen, We Have the Facts may sound like just a quiet indie rock album with some sweet melodies.  Keep listening.  What you will find is an expansive tale of heartbreak and betrayal behind some of the prettiest electric guitar melodies recorded by man.  Ben Gibbard’s lyrics are playful and genius throughout, and Death Cab doesn’t adhere to any typical songwriting conventions, allowing each track to take on a unique life of its own.  For over a decade now, this album has been a treat for us to listen to, and it still is only getting better with every additional listen.

Jake’s Track Picks: 

  • 1. Title Track
  • 5. 405
  • 7. Company Calls
  • 8. Company Calls Epilogue
  • 9. No Joy in Mudville
  • 10 Scientist Studies

Tom’s Track Picks: 

  • 1. Title Track
  • 2. The Employment Pages
  • 5. 405
  • 7. Company Calls

 


 

Album Review 354: Death Cab for Cutie – Codes And Keys

74

Jake: 75/100

Tom: 73/100

Overview: Codes and Keys is definitely a step up from the last couple Death Cab For Cutie albums, but it isn’t necessarily a full return to form. Jake and Tom didn’t quite feel the emotional punch intended by this record. Still, we agree that this album is enjoyable straight through and offers a significant step up in songwriting and production.

Jake’s Track Picks: 

  • 2. Codes and Keys
  • 10. St. Peter’s Cathedral
  • 11. Stay Young, Go Dancing

Tom’s Track Picks: 

  • 2. Codes and Keys
  • 3. Some Boys
  • 10. St. Peter’s Cathedral

 


 

Album Review 239: Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism

Jake: Highly Recommended, 96/100

Tom: Highly Recommended, 96/100

Overview: Transatlanticism marks Death Cab For Cutie’s crossover to a more mainstream audience, but don’t let that fool you– this album still has quite an indie songwriting style (for the most part) but with thicket, more professional production than their previous releases. All in all, this album captures many of the elements and sounds that made their early work so appealing, but moving it in a more conceptual, albumized, and emotional direction. This is arguably one of Death Cab’s best works.

Recommended Similar Artists: Broken Social Scene, Sufjan Stevens, Modest Mouse, The Shins

 

Jake’s Track Picks: 

  • 3. Title and Registration
  • 6. Tiny Vessels
  • 7. Transatlanticism
  • 8. Passenger Seat
  • 11. A Lack of Color

Tom’s Track Picks: 

  • 2. Lightness
  • 6. Tiny Vessels
  • 8. Passenger Seat
  • Chris Jenkins
    #1 written by Chris Jenkins  5 years ago

    tom – you perfectly hit the point of how Ben delivers the music on this album. that lyrical creativity wasn’t as apparent on this in comparison to their earlier albums. i also personally don’t believe that the album flowed as well as you guys mentioned. each track seemed more like a single to me. but great job you guys, keep up the great work.

    P.S. how did you feel about the remix EP? I honestly couldn’t stand it! i think the electronic artists tried a little too hard to make the songs completely different, which resulted in destroying the beauty within the songs.

  • Holden
    #2 written by Holden  4 years ago

    I love all three of these albums.

    Codes & Keys

    - To me, this is another good Death Cab for Cutie album. Then again, I don’t believe that any of them are bad by any means. I’ve listened to this several times, and there are songs I definitely love, and some I could pass on. I agree that it’s incredibly cohesive. When I first heard this album, that’s the main thing that struck me. I’m not sure how feel about them doing variations on “I Will Possess Your Heart” with “Doors Unlocked and Open” and “Unobstructed Views.” They’re both good songs, but the formula is certainly there. Either way, it’s a solid record. I definitely would agree more with Ian, at least in terms of score. Definitely lower, but in that 80s/90s range.

    Track Picks:
    9. Underneath the Sycamore
    10. St. Peter’s Cathedral
    11. Stay Young, Go Dancing

    The remix EP, for me, was pretty hit or miss. I absolutely adore the remixes for “Some Boys” and “Doors Unlocked and Open.” The one for “Unobstructed Views” is nothing short of awesome to me. I don’t care how early-90s cliché it is. It’s fantastic. “Home Is a Fire” isn’t too bad, but passable. The “Underneath the Sycamore” dubstep thing was terrible. “Codes and Keys” and the “You Are a Tourist” ones make me kind of physically sick.

    Transatlanticism

    This is my reluctant favorite album of all time. I’ve been coming back to this more and more, and I always want to give another album the designation of being my most beloved album, but I can’t ever get over this one. It’s so perfect. I find it difficult to really find any album where I have a relationship with each individual song, and one with the album, quite like this one. Between the diverse songwriting and production, the sincerity in the music, and the fact that it just rules in general make it impossible not to like. It will continue to be my favorite, and I will continue to be jealous of Seth Cohen for having a giant Transatlanticism poster that I don’t have.

    Track Picks
    3. Title and Registration
    4. Expo ’86
    7. Transatlanticism
    8. Passenger Seat
    10. We Looked Like Giants

    We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes

    Definitely overshadowed by Transatlanticism. Still, I am floored by this album each time I listened to it. I get songs from here stuck in my head quite regularly. The only song that I don’t absolutely love is “405,” which everyone else seems to be really enamored by. It’s a great song for sure, but probably more mid-ranged in terms of Death Cab, for me at least. Anyhow, I’m glad that you guys both recognize the first “Company Calls.” A lot of people mention “Company Calls Epilogue,” but “Company Calls” definitely has that energy that makes it a kind of banger that Death Cab simply never does, which is too bad, since it’s a lot of fun at dances and parties. Anyhow, as a whole, the album is clearly a masterpiece. There’s still time for the group to make something as great as this, but this is such a high benchmark that most albums never really get as great as this, Death Cab or otherwise. To be honest, I’ve never gotten the concept. Plus, this album has gotten so little attention, it’s hard to find anything else, which makes your review so much greater. On a track by track basis, this record is fantastic. It flows perfectly, and each song is excellent. Even Transatlanticism has one or two songs that I’m not crazy about. This is just such a well made album, and hopefully more people will revisit it.

    Track picks
    1. Title Track
    3. For What Reason
    6. Little Fury Things
    7. Company Calls
    9. No Joy in Mudville

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