Death Cab for Cutie - Thank You For Today

Death Cab For Cutie
Thank You For Today

Death Cab For Cutie aren't on the vanguard of a sound anymore, but they might just still be the sound of a generation. Almost 20 years to the day since their first release Death Cab have released their ninth studio album Thank You For Today. Previous albums have seen the band experiment with new sounds, reach for different sentiments and even abandon what made them Death Cab, but this new record feels more like a return than previous outings. They slip into that hazy, rain soaked melancholy so perfectly, like they never left. In their forties now the last years of Gen Xers looking back at their hold on popular culture slipping further and further away the band seem more comfortable now that the pressure is off. They are allowed to be open and somewhat sad, rather than chasing some millenial sentiment that never mattered to them anyway. They aren't afraid to tap their toes though and rock out a bit like on "Gold Rush" one of their best songs in years. Somehow Ben Gibbard's delivery has gotten more simple on this album than on their last and the minutia feels less important than the emotion of the piece. He has a large vocabulary and doesn't feel ashamed of it here, He embraces the person that He is and that allows him to stop apologizing for it. Their music feels lighter, even as the emotions get heavy like they did on Transatlanticism.

When He sings "I won't be the debris, in your Hurricane" on "Your Hurricane" it is sappy as hell but feels really honest. That's what is so lovely about this album is it feels totally honest from start to finish. The synth twinkle on "When We Drive" is so perfectly minimal not turning Death Cab into some synth pop outfit but adding a dimension to the song that gives it so much more life. The one thing you miss on songs like "Northern Lights" is that Jenny Lewis vocal that used to pop in every now and again back in the day. The play of female and male sound that would come into Death Cab songs often was so great and one thing that they rarely bring back around. "You Moved Away" is a bright shining star on the record. The lyrics will give you chills as this beat slowly builds to something glitchy and explosive. It feels like an album closer but hides away at track 8. This is truly one of their best albums to date and it is so nice to hear them find their sound again. Who knew it was always hiding right behind them waiting to be rediscovered. I'm glad they did.

8.3 out of 10


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