You know what? These guys are pretty good. I liketh these guys. I liketh them a loteth. This is all, like, the major label debut, and you know why it’s good? Because they’re SMART. They have new production techniques available, but they don’t misuse them. Oh sure, there’s the occasional sound in one speaker kinda cheesy-like, and one song features two minutes of Ben sounding like he’s on the other end of a phone (kinda like The Strokes do on every single song), but it’s tasteful enough to not ruin anything. So we’re left to enjoy song after song of clean acoustic guitar, slow-ish tempos, and lyrics that all pertain to love and relationships in some way or other. It makes my inner 17 year old girl very, very happy. Probably because she’s not a dumb bitch idiot System Of A Down fan. Man, that band sucks. Hey, I’m the lead singer! *weird noises* Vaguely anti-commercial sentiment followed by paean to buy album! *band gets all “hardcore,” by which they mean mid-tempo but ugly sounding, looking*
This album has it all, if all there is is this album! I suppose there’s less whining about past breakups? Instead there’s more furtiveness and sadness, with pleasant filler to mind the gaps. Very little spectacular stuff, but I’m partial to the plaintive NYC-dropping slow-building opener ‘Marching Bands of Manhattan,” obvious hit single “Soul Meets Body,” “where soul meets spottyyyyyyy! choiry remembering of past dickishness “Someday You Will Be Loved,” lovably sad loved-one-dying-in-a-hospital long song “What Sarah Said,” and of course the one straight-up love song here, acoustic centerpiece “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” (and you can tell they know it’s good). Honestly, the rest of the songs kinda fade away immediately after I hear them, but if you’re listening to a band like Death Cab looking for constant activity you’ll be sorely disappointed. It’s an album for nighttime bus rides and walking home from your lover’s house at eight in the morning. And if you’re not doing those things (probably because you’re fat), then at least “What Sarah Said” is a great song to put on repeat while you eat a whole jar of Tostitos’ Con Queso Dip.
Also, many songs on here would make for good titles of porn movies: “Summer Skin” and “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” in particular. Make it happen, kids!
Also, “Brothers on a Hotel Bed” really sucks after the first minute.