Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs


22. Mai. 2008, 22:58

Death Cab for Cutie's latest album, Narrow Stairs, was released just over a week ago, on May 13th. I've been a long time fan of Death Cab, ever since their last album Plans came out. Featuring such hits as 'Marching Bands of Manhattan', 'Soul Meets Body', and 'I Will Follow You Into The Dark', it was a pretty good place to start. I can proudly say that this is the band that got me into the indie music scene, as well as mellow rock. Before I found them all I listened to was Weird Al Yankovic and Relient K.

I am listening to Narrow Stairs as I write this. The third track is just starting. It's titled 'No Sunlight'. The first two tracks 'Bixby Canyon Bridge' and 'I Will Possess You Heart' are both solid tracks. The album starts out mellow with 'Bixby', and it doesn't feel like that much of a departure from Death Cab's past material, specifically, Transatlanticism. 'I Will Possess Your Heart' seems like it will follow suit, but then the bass comes in, and any thing you have thought about this album based on the first track goes right out the window. The bass stays at the mid-tempo, steady pace for four and a half minutes, being joined by guitar effects and the drums. Then the vocals come in, and everything fades out. Then the drums kick back in, along with some piano, and the band rocks out that way for the remaining four minutes.

'No Sunlight'. I'm not entirely sure why, but it reminds me vaguely of something from the 50's. Must be the drum beat. A very, very nice and solid song. So far in the album, no weak points. 'Cath...' comes up next, a mellow little song about a woman that isn't entirely happy in her marriage, and how she could have done better. Drums are very well done. Gibbard's voice is great as always.

'Talking Bird'. Very slow. About a bird. Weakest song so far, but that's not to say it's not a good song. Well done, but by contrast, it's not the best. 'You Can Do Better Than Me'. Initially seems like a Christmas song? Odd, but it fits somehow. Another good part of this album is the way the tracks are delivered. They all follow the one before it perfectly. Nothing seems out of place.

'Grapevine Fires'. I have heard good things about this track. That it's the best track on the record, that everyone needs to hear it, etc. It's a nice track, but I think that 'I Will Possess Your Heart' wins (so far) for best track.

'Your New Twin Sized Bed'. Good mix with the drum beat and guitar. Guitar is really the focal point of the song, I think. Which is odd, because generally the vocals are the focal point. 'Long Division'. Holy crap the start of this song is sweet. Good mix with the bass and drums. Effects on Gibbard's voice rock. Wow. This track is really great.

'Pity and Fear'. Starts out mellow. Blocks instead of drums. Drums slowly build up. Nice blend of guitar and drums. Very nice. Odd ending. Just cuts off. I do hope that is a problem with my disc, rather than the way the track actually ends.

Final track. 'The Ice Is Getting Thinner'. Light guitar. Nothing else besides vocals. Nice mellow ending to this album.

Final thoughts - This album it put together wonderfully. Everything flows right into the next track perfectly. I am a bit confused though. I had heard that this was a departure from anything that Death Cab has ever done. But this reminds me a lot of Transatlanticism. How odd. But over all, it is safe to say this is their best album. I'd give it a perfect 5 out of 5.

Well done boys. Well done.

(You can purchase the album from for $9.99 - that is a HUGE bargain.)


  • alicetragedy

    a "long-time fan", since Plans? that doesn't make any sense. I really like the album because it moves away from Plans, which I think is one of their weakest records. I think maybe that's partly what people mean when they say that it's a "departure from anything that death cab had ever done" - and they are experimenting a bit in that record (moving away from their sound). You can hear it in Your New Twin Sized Bed, I think. You did a nice sum-up of Narrow Stairs - even though you kept spelling Transatlanticism wrong ;)

    23. Mai. 2008, 9:04
  • geoff_girardin

    Plans came out in 2005, that's three years without any new material. Thanks for mentioning the Transatlanticism thing though, can't believe I missed that!

    23. Mai. 2008, 17:37
  • xkitteehx

    as usual, death cab gives me the chills down the spine. pretty good review, too.

    8. Jun. 2008, 17:45
Alle 3 Kommentare anzeigen
Sage etwas. Melde dich bei an oder registriere ein neues Benutzerkonto (es kostet nichts).