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Death Cab For Cutie

Narrow Stairs

Everything about Death Cab for Cutie is ironic. Their name is a little ironic. The fact that they're an independent-sounding band on a major label is ironic. They sound like a UK band even though they're from the U.S.- that's ironic. They sing about positive things in slow-tempo/dark-sounding songs and they sing about negative things in up-temp/bouncy songs- chalk that up as being ironic as well. On the band's new album "Narrow Stairs" Death Cab doesn't stray too far from any of these ironic truths and they've made their best album to date. This is one of the most artistic bands going right now and they prove it on "Narrow Stairs" whether they have a four and a half minute intro on a song that's actually picked as a single, or a weird transition between songs- or a drum outro that makes no sense at all- it actually makes sense because it throws you into the Death Cab irony phase that many people have come to love. This album has several outstanding songs. "I Will Possess Your Heart", "Cath...", "Grapevine Fires", and "Your New Twin Sized Bed" all are/would be great single choices for the band, and even the intentional 'album' tracks on "Narrow Stairs" are quality- the content on "Long Division" and "Talking Bird" is uniquely styled and universally understandable and the closing tracks "Pity and Fear" and "The Ice is Getting Thinner" lean on the more creative side of Death Cab for Cutie. "Narrow Stairs" builds on the mainstream success that Death Cab had with "Plans." All of these songs are listener friendly but they still manage to be artistic. Death Cab hasn't strayed from what they do best- Ben Gibbard still writes run-on sentences for lyrics, the rhythm section of the band is usually the dominant portion, and the irony runs rampant. "Narrow Stairs" is another album that fans of alternative music have to listen to, even if Death Cab isn't exactly your thing. "Narrow Stairs" is another good album in a line of good albums that makes Death Cab one of the better bands going today.


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