Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Narrow Stairs (Death Cab for Cutie)

Narrow Stairs is the album everyone was waiting for. You couldn't avoid Ben Gibbard's face on the cover of a music-related magazine if you tried. The hype was big - but hype is hype...buzz is what you want.

Narrow Stairs isn't bad. Narrow Stairs won't change your life either though. It was predicted and sold as this epiphany record by DCFC in their remote writing and Kerouac-influenced sounds and approach. Don't get me wrong, there is some really good music on this album, but hype is a tough one to overcome; especially when the band is the one responsible for the hyping.

Ben Gibbard's mind is tapped and out comes Narrow Stairs. There's the long intro (which doesn't really do anything dynamically) at the start of I Will Posses Your Heart. I'm not sure why its there. The radio stations obviously edited it out and I'd venture to guess most listeners will too.

Your New Twin Sized Bed is a great song about lost love and heartbreaks. The guitars conflict as Gibbard's voice does what it does best - articulates a story. This song is a great break from the uber-happy pop style on No Sunlight.

Overall, its another DCFC album - different from Plans and different from Postal Service stuff, so I'd go ahead and get the album in full. These are stories worth hearing. And hopefully I've quelled the hype...

RATING: 3.5 of 5 stars

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