Artist: Death Cab For Cutie
Album: Narrow Stairs
Single: I Will Possess Your Heart
Style: sellout, would-be, indie legends
Label: Atlantic Records (Vinyl on Barsuk, so at least there's that to look forward to)
Death Cab For Cutie return to the corporate-sellout, indie pedestal with their new single, I Will Posess Your Heart, off the new album due out May 13th entitled Narrow Stairs. I actually really like the new direction the album seems to be taking. This single is a jim jam jimmy jam jamma, clocking in at over eight jammy minutes! All the Can references were true =0 The intro is completely bass driven, accompanied by piano (in true Gibbard style) and backed by a solid drumline. The chords echo with slight variations for four and a half minutes until Gibbard chimes in with his eagerly-timid vocals. To match the repetitive instrumentals, the lyrics are mostly chorus (with increasing cryptic voracity with each repetition) and a few fatefully-tragic, wintry verses ammounting to a mere shell of the shining indie songs from Death Cabs early career. A shell containing no nucleus, growing no greater form inside of it, tricking us into thinking that real, artistic creativity still exists, as opposed to profit-driven creativity which seems to be all a lot of bands I used to love seem to have left.
I miss songs like Photobooth, the sad songs with inspiring lyrics and catchy, drum-sequencer hooks. Now we get repetitive 6-minute-long intros with weak writing. I think if they stop writing songs for money, and went back to writing songs as a form of expression, the final result would be a lot more powerful in the ears and emotions of their fans. But I'm not them, and I don't have the options they have, and if I did I'm not certain that I wouldn't make the same decisions as them if I did have those options, of which I have no idea about anyway so I probably have no room to criticize them, as people at least. I'm here to criticize the music. And that is, in short, I like the new direction, but it has nothing for substance, musically and lyrically. That's not something I can overlook as a fan, and I'm not that jazzed to hear the new album based on this new single. I bet they didn't spend very much time at all creating it, perhaps even of tracks that didn't make previous albums, just strung together and produced the shit out of into a listenable collections of songs that Gibbard likely had to sit up until 4am for a week trying to think of lyrics for.
But that's my opinion, and I'm jaded. The song isn't really that bad, except the part where he starts "You reject my advances, in desperate plea" that part is really awful and is only made up for a little by being followed by solo Gibbard vocals, which I like when used in good taste. But damn that little breakdown part is bad. It ruins the song a lot for me. The rest is ok, just a little uninspired for my taste.
Emo kids need not get their boxes of kleenex however, this one isn't much of a tear jerker. Hope for a more solid heartbreaker on the rest of the album perhaps.
Also, I was going to put a copy of the song up to listen to like usual, but it's too big for my box widget. You'll just have to hear it at their Murdoch Space.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Posted by Jonno! at 7:42 PM