Death Cab For Cutie – Narrow Stairs

May 14, 2008

After their disappointing 2005 major label debut, Plans, Seattle based band Death Cab For Cutie (Ben Gibbard, Nick Harmer, Jason McGerr and Chris Walla) has returned three years later with Narrow Stairs, which, if it isn’t their best album, then contains some of its very best work. If the general mood is often somewhat stark, even downbeat, the sheer artistry of the songwriting and musicianship on Narrow Stairs is in itself elevating, from the opening song about Jack Kerouac, “Bixby Canyon Bridge,” followed by the single “I Will Possess Your Heart,” which is here presented in an 8 minute version, to the moody, lovely closing number, “The Ice Is Getting Thinner.” On some of the songs, the electric guitars are heavier, muscular and distorted, giving the tracks both an epic feel, but also suggesting anger, confusion and aggression beneath the melancholy surfaces. Narrow Stairs represents an immensely satisfying return to form for a great band. Standout cuts: “Bixby Canyon Bridge,” “I Will Possess Your Heart,” “Cath…” and “The Ice Is Getting Thinner.”


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