Something About Airplanes
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Something About Airplanes
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A few of the tracks here are gleaned from singer/guitarist/primary songwriter Ben Gibbard's demo tapes (You Can Play These Songs With Chords, rereleased by Barsuk in 2002), and the great tunesmithing found there is even better this time around. While that might form the core of the tracks, the newer songs are just as good.
"Bend to Squares" starts Something About Airplanes off on a good note, a swirling mix of distorted (as well as acoustic) guitars and cello. The next track, "President of What?", sounds like the Zombies on speed, complete with an extremely memorable organ line.
Yeah, a few of the tracks do blend together, but several listens will cement certain parts of the album into your mind permenantly: the "I'm definitely shaking" section on the power-popish "Pictures in an Exhibition"; the chiming electric guitar channel on the almost twangy "Sleep Spent"; the entire song "Amputations," one of the finest songs Gibbard has written; and the shoegazing swell of album closer "Line of Best Fit," in which the harmonized male/female vocals are near hypnotic over the throbbing guitars.
On the downside...there really isn't one. The lo-fi quality of the recording might be hard to take for someone not accustom to it, but the songs themselves are what really counts.
As far as what the band sounds like, I'd say they are far far far away from the "emo" tag many have wrongly labeled them with. The Built to Spill references aren't dead on either, but I will say Death Cab for Cutie could be compared to a more fuzzed out There's Nothing Wrong With Love-era BTS, minus Doug Martsch's guitar heroics.
Something About Airplanes is a melodic, creative, and lush album that is a great starting point for a wonderful band. I highly recommend it.
"Something About Airplanes" (2 CDs; 17 tracks; 78 min.) first brings the original album (10 tracks; 43 min.), which was released in August, 1998. This is a very strong debut album, no question, and indeed it is astonishing to hear how solid the band sounds, keeping in mind that they only formed in the summer of 1997. All the elements that would eventually lift DCFC into the more mainstream are already visibly in place here: pensive, dynamic and atmospheric tracks. From the opening sounds of "Bend to Squares", on to outstanding gems like "Pictures in an Exhibition, to "Sleep Spent" to the epic closer "Line of Best Fit", it's all here. In fact, this album is stronger than its follow-up "We Have the Facts" album, but that's just my opinion...
CD2 (7 tracks; 34 min.) brings the band's entire show from Seattle's Crocodile Cafe in February, 1998, 6 months before the release of the "Airplanes" album, and it is an outstanding addition to the album. From the sound of it, there weren't a lot of people there that particular evening, but it's irrelevant really. The band plays a couple of their earliest tunes (such as "Your Bruise"), and also several tunes that would end up on the album such as "President of What?', "Fake Frown", "Amputations" and "Pictures in an Exhibition". It's fascinating to hear these versions and how they compare to the eventual studio tracks they'd become.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this took me back. Love it. Great release. please release You Can Play These Songs With Chords :)Published 12 months ago by Labjunkiest
i love death cab for cutie! and an mp3 album is a great (and affordable) way to have music! i can easily listen to it on multiple platforms on my computer, save it on my external... Read morePublished on April 3, 2012 by M. L. Russo
Listening to this album, one wouldn't think that DCFC would become a band to be succesful but they eventually do. Read morePublished on March 16, 2012 by Mark McLaughlin
I did not start with this album. I started with Plans, which may be enough reason for a "die-hard fan" not to read this. The truth is, I like this album. Read morePublished on February 5, 2011 by Erik Starkman
Yes vinyl is better sound quality than any other medium other than live, and the extra ass pain is worth it! Read morePublished on February 8, 2010 by William I. Gilkison
If you are expecting an album that's anything like their later music, save your money or buy something else. Read morePublished on December 30, 2008 by David Doyle
Seriously, I like the band, I bought the CD, I like the CD. What do you expect?
Now, it'd be REALLY telling, if I like the band and hate the CD. Read more
For everyone that has just started liking Death Cab in the last couple of years this will be a little different than what you're used to from Death Cab, but you'll learn to love... Read morePublished on November 28, 2008 by Henry