Death Cab For Cutie – Narrow Stairs

There is one thing that I am still sure of after listening to Death Cab for Cutie‘s latest album, Narrow Stairs: the band can still put together and record some really beautiful music.

I was immediately wrapped up in the elegant and open first track, “Bixby Canyon Bridge.” That’s a great thing about Death Cab: the openness of their songs. There are, however, many spots on the album, most notably “I Will Possess Your Heart,” which I really just don’t like. It feels, just as on Plans, like they are taking themselves too seriously. It was songs with simple and romantic messages like “I Will Follow You into the Dark” that propelled Death Cab into the hearts of so many self-obsessed teenagers (read: all teenagers), and they shouldn’t forget that.

Otherwise, this is really a pleasant album to have around. And as someone who fell in love with them during my own self-obsessed teenagerdom, it’s nice to see that they don’t make me feel like a dick for still listening to them. Death Cab won’t make you feel guilty for listening to music from which teenagers pull lyrics for their MySpace pages.

I recommend listening to “Talking Bird,” which may be my favorite song on Narrow Stairs. It is ideal for contemplating anything and everything with some friends and some beer around sunset. Listen to any of these songs while you’re alone (I recommend during the commute to work or while you clean your room) and you’ll feel a little more whole than you did before.

The best thing about the album is they’ve kept the invitingly introspective feel of their previous work alive and well. However, I can’t say that I don’t long for the days of really well put-together but less produced songs that could be found on The Photo Album or We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes. But the boys of DCFC have chosen the direction they’d like to go in, and that’s heavy sounds to match their yearning, heartfelt lyrics, although some more upbeat melodies for the chronic head-bopper can be found in “Long Division” and “No Sunlight.”

There’s a comfort in Death Cab for Cutie’s work that I haven’t found in many other bands and it’s something in which I place a lot of value. This album certainly has its downs as well as its ups, but it’s worth picking up at your local independent record store (support them, folks!), as I personally have done with all of my Death Cab albums. Narrow Stairs will be great to pick up and listen to, after having nearly forgotten about it , every few months. It’s definitely a satisfying listen that you’ll want to have around.

Death Cab For Cutie: website | myspace

by: Jimmy

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