Other Sellers on Amazon
Something About Airplanes
|Listen Now with Amazon Music|
Something About Airplanes
|Amazon Music Unlimited|
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
It's no exaggeration to say 'Something About Airplanes' is the future of music. Melodic pop that falls somewhere between American Analog Set & Imperial Teen. Elsinor/Barsuk.
The first instrument you notice upon listening to Something About Airplanes is the cello on "Bend to Squares." It fades out, soon enough replaced by the familiar electric guitar, but it sets this album's offbeat mood. Experimentation and pop hooks strike a perfect balance on this debut from the Bellingham, Washington-based Death Cab for Cutie. The quartet follow in the fine tradition of area emo-pop bands like Modest Mouse, 764-HERO, and Built to Spill, but it's hard not to notice bits of Quasi and the Beatles popping up. Of course, the Death Cab formula is a bit different--"President of What?" is driven by Farfisa, not Fender; "Champagne from a Paper Cup" is a slow-burner--there's not much pop glee found in a song that begins "I think I'm Drunk Enough to Drive You Home Now"; and--every once in a while--the oddball vocal sample kicks in (presumably from a long-forgotten movie, a la vintage Jawbreaker). It all makes for a brilliant debut and a fine addition to the canon of Northwest emo-pop late-'90s style. --Jason Verlinde
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Now, it'd be REALLY telling, if I like the band and hate the CD. That'd be positively bad for them. "What are you trying to do, lose fans?" -- but this is not the case, I like this CD. :) If I didn't know I already own it, I'd buy it again. (He's a good reason to buy physical CDs, if your memory sucks, you may need a physical reminder.)
OK, now the bad news: Even though I'm a fan and I like the CD, if you played a random collection of DCfC songs and I was supposed to guess which CD it was from. NOPE. sorry. :(
(That's bad news, because if this were somehow a really stand-out CD, I'd recognize all the tracks as belonging to this CD. I can totally do that with some, though not many, artists. I'm not going to mention them, because that seems highly inappropriate. If you're interested, and I don't see why you would be, you can read my other reviews.)
"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. The band is in good form throughout, with a lot of banter in between songs, just great.
In all, this is is a very worthwhile "Deluxe Reissue", even if you own the original album. I saw DCFC in concert again several times this year, and they just keep on getting bigger and better. Maybe some fans of the early years are cringing that DCFC is getting so much commercial acclaim these days, but they shouldn't really. Their success is hard earned and much deserved.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Worthwhile introduction into the fragile pop-rock melodies that would drive their early career into teenage hearts all over America.Read more