I have the facts and I’m voting “no” to this album! Boy, my humourbox is on fire today. Just read my review of At The Drive-In’s “Acrobatic Tenement” and “El Gran Orgo” for more evidence.
We have the facts and we’re boating, yes? Oh, we took a vote and said no? My mistake.
Ben and The Gibbers are back with another collection of slow, slow songs about ex-girlfriends and getting jobs and reminiscing about aftermaths of parties or young attempts to be artistic to early-twenties stuff like that. The reason they’re good, though, is that they know just the right little arpeggios and the right lyrics to play and sing, respectively, to make you, fellow listener, think about exactly the same things. I’m not sure if it has more gravity now when I am a late-teen early-twenty-er, but it’s sure good for making me morose and melancholy about good things and good times I’ve had that are gone and will never never come back. I will never be in love for the first time again, I will never have sex for the first time again, there will never be another first kiss or first job or high school party again, but I’ll always remember them all and Death Cab brings it all back so perfectly on songs like “The Employment Pages” (the most beautiful melody they’ve ever written) or “Title Track” (where the line about tasting lipstick on a filter is just…ohhhh you smart bastards) and “Company Calls”, the album’s only attempt to “rock”, although it’s still moderately slow, like a really smart kid pushed one grade too far by his domineering parents.
This really isn’t their best album though. Those songs, along with “For What Reason” and “No Joy In Mudville” (which has amazingly sad lyrics but is produced really badly and so ends up being a little like six minutes of the slowest drumbeat ever with some guy mumbling in the background) are only half the album. The rest tends to get annoyingly adult contempo (“Lowell, MA”, “Company Calls Epilogue”) or sounds like filler (“Furry Little Bugs”, “405”). Things would get better! And then they’d get namechecked on The O.C..
7 / 10