Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Death Cab For Cutie - Codes and Keys: Ethereal, Adventurous, Charming, Bittersweet
Like everyone else in South Africa I really only took notice of Death Cab for Cutie when their 5th album, Plans, was released in 2005. The super EMO I Will Follow You Into the Dark rocketed them briefly into the SA limelight. Watery and badly aimed as it is.
To this day, Plans remains one of my favourite albums to chill to, and Death Cab's masterpiece.
Codes and Keys, released today, comes very close to dethroning Plans from its place in my heart. It is well crafted, bittersweet and searching. The boys have always been philosophical in their approach to lyrics and Codes and Keys is no different.
As always, each track is well structured and the harmonies are effortless. The drama and the steady swell as each track builds to a crescendo will draw anyone in. Codes and Keys, while not quite up to the standards of Plans, is remarkable nonetheless. It has a quirkiness and an adventurous nature that we haven't seen before. They have even managed to do what many bands have not in this age of electro-invasion – incorporate a bit of 80s keyboard without losing their own vision.
The title track is a joyful ditty that puts me in mind of a stereotypical American 60s school dance. You Are a Tourist is catchy with a bounce you can't help but tap your feet to. The guitar riff gets into your head and has you bopping all day (or week). Monday Monday demonstrates the weird uncertain optimism that is evident in many a Death Cab track. Stay Young, Go Dancing - the final track on the album - is also the biggest surprise. It is boundlessly cheerful. And simply so. No strings attached.
Codes and Keys tells a fantastic story and draws you in. Great company for the cold winter months. So hop onto Amazon or iTunes and get it. Get it now.
You can preview the album here: http://n.pr/kuNLl0
Visit www.deathcabforcutie.com for more on the band.