Something About Airplanes
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Something About Airplanes
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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
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Something About Airplanes is an old record at this point, but it's still one of their better works for sure. Everyone has a favorite here and there, but it's pretty hard to deny that the better songs on this record are not iconic of the genre and time period. The album definitely starts out strong out of the gate and then tapers off toward the end, but that is about how the energy should be on a dramatic record like this IMO. I don't really have anything bad to say about this. The dynamic range is the same as the old CD at DR10, which is very good for a record these days. It doesn't look like they touched it, and you really didn't have to. It still sounds great in the SQ department. Recommended.
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.)