The Open Door EP
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The Open Door EP
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2009 EP from the Indie favorites containing four new tracks and one unreleased demo. The band's platinum selling album Plans was a huge success, which came after their DVD collection Directions, which sold over 30,000 copies. Following up those was no easy task, but Narrow Stairs has already been praised by MTV.com as the band's most daring and adventurous effort to date. Now, although the four new tracks are a little different from those on the last album, The Open Door can be considered a companion piece to Narrow Stairs.
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"Little Bribes" is one of the most upbeat songs Ben has ever composed. "A Diamond and a Tether" could be a single. It's a real knock out track. "My Mirror Speaks" is maybe the least memorable of the 5 tracks here, but it's still a very good song. Reminds me of another DCFC song I can't quite put my finger on. "I Was Once a Loyal Lover" sounds like a fleshed out All-Time Quarterback song. Really catchy. "Talking Bird" is supposedly a demo, but sounds much better than the album version. The instrumention here really brings out the melody, which is primarily a vocal melody anyways.
A very strong EP that should be purchased by all fans of this outstanding band.
Most of the songs are delightfully peppy, with the exception of the last song, which is a stripped-down demo of "Talking Bird", of which the studio take did appear on Narrow Stairs. I'd actually probably give this a 4.5-star rating if Amazon allowed that, so consider it a high 4-star rating. If they released a full album as entertaining as this one, I'd give a similar full-length album an even higher rating. (Yes, it is odd that I am penalizing them for the brevity of the album, but it's that good that I'm left wanting more of the same.)
The opener, "Little Bribes", is a springy tune that serves as an appropriate introduction to the EP. "A Diamond and a Tether" is a catchy mid-tempo number that is the album highlight, both melodically and lyrically. I especially am taken with the lines I've got this habit I abhor/When we go out, I'm always watching the door. "My Mirror Speaks" is another lively tune although I may have bumped the thumping drumbeat a bit lower in the mix so as not to detract from Ben's great vocals. "I Was Once a Loyal Lover" is the last of the bouncy tunes, and it's great, too. All in all, a great, quick listen from Death Cab that definitely indicates a great direction musically.
There are 5 tracks:
"Little Bribes" is probably my least favorite track, as it sounds just a bit too much like Barenaked Ladies for my tastes. It's funny, upbeat, and slightly honky-tonky.
"A Diamond And A Tether," slows things down, and is more immediately recognizable as DEATH CAB. It is one of the best in this short collection, with strong hooks and guitar play.
"My Mirror Speaks," has a rock vibe and the bass line to back it up. It's a rythmic, forceful song that I quite like.
"I Was Once a Loyal Lover," has an electronica-fuzz intensity to it. Distorted electric guitars open up the song and are followed up by deep keyboard and another intense beat.
"Talking Bird (Demo," slows things back down with a wispy guitar that sounds almost harp like. Lyrical and clean with a true 'singer-songwriter' style, it is pretty if not remarkable.
4/5 Stars. A solid EP well worth the purchase for any DEATH CAB fan.
Their album "Transatlanticism" is still my favorite, but this EP is lovely evidence of their still evolving style.
If you like DCFC, I'd also recommend Iron and Wine, Bell X1, Blitzen Trapper, and Great Lake Swimmers. Oh, and Andrew Bird. And Bon Iver. And...oh, never mind.
Some people may have felt that Death Cab for Cutie were selling out when they moved on from Barsuk to Atlantic, but I feel that they have only progressed as a result with a richer sound and more confident singing.