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DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE NARROW STAIRS
Narrow Stairs might be the first album recorded by Death Cab for Cutie since Ben Gibbard's former solo project went unexpectedly stratospheric, but Gibbard hasn't let it go to his head. Oh, OK, maybe a little: lead-off single "I Will Possess Your Heart" is an eight minute jam that speeds off on one long, luminous curve before Gibbard's distinctive vocals swing in, sweet and plaintive as ever. Even when indulging their grander visions, though, Death Cab for Cutie are still familiar as the same band that wrote those fragile, winsome songs back before teen drama The OC came knocking. Never knowingly overstated, built from driving rhythms, flourishes of piano and intricate melodies, Narrow Stairs builds grand, emotionally loaded narratives from small, subtle parts. "Your New Twin Sized Bed" hides a deftly articulated tale of heartbreak and loneliness amidst soothing tangles of guitar, while "You Can Do Better than Me" is a sweet miniature that's part Pet Sounds orchestration, part wistful Dear John. This isn't, as Gibbard would previously hint, a dissonant or especially adventurous album. It proves, however, that Death Cab can extend their scope without diluting the pathos or energy of their music, and it not only sounds great, but bodes well for the future. --Louis PattisonSee all Editorial Reviews
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Top customer reviews
I'm not one to be too particular with lyrics, but when I occasionally pay attention I really like what I hear. I've probably listened to this album over 100 times. I love the harmony of the vocals and the instruments. I just love the way the music flows. I guess I have some emotional attachment because it has been one of my go to albums to help me get through more despairing moments in my life, but has also been something nice to put on when I'm working or bored.
I have a lot of music, but everyone once in a while I find a way to put this on my playlist to binge out on.