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Narrow Stairs takes the opposite approach. Walla is once again behind the production, but the album has a much more natural quality to it (a feature that not only contrasts Plans, but Walla's own solo album and his work with The Decemberists and Tegan and Sara). As such, it feels more like the band's earlier work: unrestrained and unrefined, free of nit-picking and studio perfectionism. The raw, guitar distortion of album-opener, "Bixby Canyon Bridge," would never exist on an album like Plans, and it's refreshing to hear the band breaking free from the self-imposed restrictions of their previous record.
Likewise, the album's first single "I Will Possess Your Heart" is well over 8 minutes long, something that I can't imagine Atlantic Records smiling on, especially being a single.Read more ›
"Narrow Stairs" (11 tracks, 45 min.) starts off with the best 1-2 punch ever: an epic opener "Bigxby Canyon Bridge", followed by an even stronger 8+ min. brooding "I Will Posess Your Heart" (1st radio single). Wow... these 15 min. of music alone are worth buying the album for. Smartly Ben Gibbard and the guys take a (musically) lighter turn after that, with tracks like "No Sunlight", "Your New Twin Sized Bed" and "You Can Do Better Than Me" (even though neither of them is a 'light' song lyrically...). Other highlights for me include "Grapevine Fires" (with great underlying keyboards) and the somber closer "The Ice Is Getting Thinner". But honestly, there isn't a single weak track as such on here. The songs are sequenced perfectly and it all flows from one to the next. Chris Walla's production is perfectly in tune with Ben Gibbard's slightly darker than usual songs. A terrific album all around (and right up there with 2003's "Transatlanticism", in my opinion).
I had seen DCFC in concert before, but when I saw them at Coachella in late April, the entire band played with a vigor and passion I hadn't seen before. They played quite a few of the new songs (including "I Will Possess Your Heart", which I'm guessing is Nick's (the bass player) favorite new song, but also "Grapevine Fires"), and also bringing a couple of classics such as "Sound of Settling". In all DCFC's set was one of the more memorable of the entire Coachella festival for me. Can't wait to see them again in concert. Meanwhile "Narrow Stairs" is highly recommended!
The album starts off with the song Bixby Canyon Bridge. It starts out with the feel of their music from Plans, but around 1:40 there is a change to distorted guitar. I was a little nervous at first, but it was actually a good change for them.
I will Possess Your Heart: I'm sure many people have already heard this song. It is one of my favorites from DCfC. They have a 4:20 buildup without any vocals. There is no doubt of the beauty in this. The rest of the song Ben sings about pretty much being a stalker and if a woman would give him a chance she would love him. Absolutely stunning!
No Sunlight: This song reminds me of The Sound of Settling. It is upbeat and energetic. This one is just a fun song to listen to.
You Can Do Better Than Me: This song is only 2 minutes long, but it their best musical experiment. It starts out with what sounds like a timpani (could be wrong, please forgive me) with a tambourine. No ladies and gentlemen, this is not a Christmas song and it sounds good!
Grapevine Fires: With singing words in front there are some hums in the background. This is my second favorite song on the album. Again, something new for DCfC.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have to admit, I bought this album on the strength of the intro into I Will Possess Your Heart, having seen the video on youtube. Read morePublished 1 month ago by dwall
Not my favorite Death Cab album, but "Cath" and "I Will Possess Your Heart" are good.Published 4 months ago by Lulu
I bought this for my son's birthday, he chose it. But since I have Amazon, it's also in my music list. What a great band! Read morePublished 5 months ago by P. Kelly
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Worse than Kenny G? Worse than the recent Bon Jovi? Please get your hyperbole in check. While I don't think they're the best thing since sliced bread, there are a multitude of albums that have been put out in the past 5 years that are way way worse.
May 8, 2008 by Evan | See all 19 posts
|Mainstream?Scared Of Change?||
I don't consider Plans or Transatlanticism as blatant attempts by DCFC to sound more mainstream. Did they open the band to a wider audience? Sure, but in my opinion this was due to the fact that the quality of the music had improved in terms of sound and melody. The older stuff was... Read More
Oct 15, 2008 by Art | See all 4 posts
|Downbeat, Repetitive & Drony||
I guess Im listening to a different album or something b/c this is one of their most UN-downbeat albums in recent years
May 27, 2008 by Johnny Utah | See all 5 posts
|Back to basics||Be the first to reply|
|Preview the album on MTV.com's The Leak||Be the first to reply|