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Former Lives

Benjamin GibbardAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

Price: $9.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2013 $5.99  
Audio CD, 2012 $9.49  
Vinyl, 2012 $16.75  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Shepherd's Bush Lullaby0:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Dream Song 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Teardrop Windows 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Bigger Than Love 4:47$0.69  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Lily 2:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Something's Rattling (Cowpoke) 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Duncan, Where Have You Gone? 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Oh, Woe 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. A Hard One To Know 2:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Lady Adelaide 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Broken Yolk In Western Sky 3:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. I'm Building A Fire 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Former Lives + Give Up - Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition + Plans
Price for all three: $47.92

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 16, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Barsuk
  • ASIN: B00936A0WA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,214 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Other cities, other plans; different friends, different dreams; former loves, former lives. After fifteen years in Death Cab for Cutie, Ben Gibbard didn't make his first solo album in search of a new beginning; instead, it closes a door. ''These songs span eight years, three relationships, living in two different places, drinking then not drinking'' he says of the dozen tracks that comprise Former Lives. ''They're a side story, not a new chapter.''

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Give it a Try October 17, 2012
Format:MP3 Music
I came into Ben Gibbard's first solo album as a casual fan -- I mostly enjoyed his Postal Service project, and there are moments when Death Cab for Cutie can hit dazzling heights with their music. However, I've never really been captivated by his voice or lyrics. I went into FORMER LIVES with no real expectations -- I just had no idea what to expect: would it be electronic pop? Bare-bones singer-songwriter fare? Death-Cab-Style Power-pop? It turns out that the Death Cab for Cutie front-man's first solo album is a good effort, but it's missing the spark that his projects carry.

FORMER LIVES starts with the enigmatic "Shepherd's Bush Lullaby," a track just shy of a minute long that mostly consists of a capella performance. The next track though is a bit more representative of the album's sound: "Dream Song" is a mostly uptempo ballad that's interrupted with some dreamy textures periodically. Most of the songs on the album follow this sound: generally uptempo middle-of-the-road rock-n-roll that have occasional flashes of texturing or experimentation. The tunes here are very melodic, and it really feels like Gibbard spent a lot of time trying to craft these songs -- these songs' meat-and-potatoes approaches work well, but they might leave fans of Death Cab for Cutie's experimental side wanting. The lyrics here range from the good to the great -- Gibbard, going through a high-profile separation from a certain famous actress, seems to have plenty of things to say here (CODES AND KEYS seemed to lack any real emotional focal point that other albums carried). "Something's Rattling (Cowpoke)" stands out like a sore-thumb with its mariachi horns -- the sound really doesn't work for the singer-songwriter no matter how subtle he tries to be with it.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is very much not Death Cab, but its definitely Ben October 17, 2012
Format:Audio CD
For a first foray into work fully by himself Ben really tossed out some good stuff. A lot of it are songs that fans of Death Cab have gotten to listen to for awhile now at live shows and such, but for the most part no one has heard these songs and they aren't the subject of much attention. They should be though. Ben (Benjamin? Really man, we all know its you) has gotten an opportunity that is long overdue. Between Death Cab for Cutie's discography, the album with Jay Ferrar as a soundtrack to the novel Big Sur (One Fast Move Or I'm Gone: Music From Kerouac's Big Sur), and the ever iconic Give Up from the Postal Service (seriously, fans clamor for a second album from that duo like salivating animals) Ben has established himself as a simplistic yet personal lyricist and singer that reminds us all of the simpler aspects of life while the world flies by around you. Songs like "Passenger Seat" or the amazing "Brand New Colony" are amazing and this album has added a set of disjointed but excellent tracks to his set. In fact the only thing that makes this album anything less than perfect is that they are all odd and different experiments that don't always perfectly flow, but the songs hold up on their own for the most part.

1. Shepherd's Bush Lullaby - 6/10: This is a bit of an odd opener and my least favorite song on the album. Its ok, but it just layers Ben's voice on top of itself to create a bit of a an acapella group effect. Its a decent idea, but not as well executed as I'd hoped for. Lyrically its fun and enjoyable, its just not the most amazing song and shows us nothing that would have earned its attention on this album.

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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By Ben
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I listened to this album on Youtube before it came out and have listened to it several times since I received it and I think it's great. I'm a long time fan of all of Gibbard's projects (Death cab, Postal Service, All-time Quarterback) and this album certainly lived up to what I have come to expect from him. It's a fairly mellow album, certainly not over-produced (according to the album insert, the first song was recorded on an iPhone- granted it's A Capella). Fan's of Death Cab for Cutie will NOT be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gibbard has done well July 19, 2013
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
If you have enjoyed death cab for cutie albums, you'll definitely like Gibbard's attempt for a solo project, teaardrop windows is a particularly good track.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeding my expectations April 17, 2013
By Mi14
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Ben is an absolute genius. When he puts something new out, I expect deep and thoughtful lyrics and he didn't disappoint! But it's not only that, there is a variety of styles that keeps the listener intrigued. All in all, I'm very happy with this album and look forward to more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a phenomenal album. April 7, 2013
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
This is an amazing album. If you are a fan of the stuff that Ben Gibbard does in his other projects this is an excellent edition to collection. This album contains a wide variety of music styles that Ben has written over the years. A must have for Gibbard fans.!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing! April 4, 2013
Format:Audio CD
I love DCFC, but this album seems much more full and eclectic than what they've been producing lately. Some albums take a while to warm up to. Not so with 'Former Lives'. It is immediately amazing. Benjamin Gibbard is on fire. So happy I've found this album. If you like DCFC and The Postal Service you just might love Ben's solo effort more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge Ben Gibbard Fan
Though different from his work with Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service, his solo album still embodies the Ben Gibbard imagery and emotions you expect from both those other... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Stephanie Marzuola
5.0 out of 5 stars no surprise this album is awesome
ben gibbard can do no wrong in music. this album is further proof. buy this if you like death cab. or postal service. or good music.
Published 7 months ago by Jeff
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff!
I am a Death Cab fan since Transatlanticism and also really enjoyed the recent Codes and Keys. This album I would put in its own class similar to the partnering with Jay Farrar on... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Elmus
3.0 out of 5 stars Eh.
Only a couple songs really stood out for me...much rather have another Postal Service album! This album felt like he was trying too hard to be different. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Doesnt matter
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting
Bought it after catching Ben Gibbard and Amiee Mann performing "Bigger than Love" on Stephen Colbert. Read more
Published 13 months ago by farfl
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
I've liked everything I've heard from Ben Gibbard so far. This album was one of the best I've ever heard in live concert.
Published 15 months ago by Aaron Hansen
5.0 out of 5 stars love it
love ben gibbard love the lyrics love the music highly recommend this is a great album four more words ps. buy it
Published 15 months ago by Kate
3.0 out of 5 stars It's growing on me
this album is growing on me.....slowly. The first time I heard DCFC blew me away, though. The next album, I liked, too. Codes and Keys, eh, didn't have the same feel. Read more
Published 17 months ago by rmepants
5.0 out of 5 stars a favorite for running
This solo album is really good. I am a fan of Teardrop Windows, and Lady Adelaide is a really cool song- both modern and old folk in theme.
Published 18 months ago by RF
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