7 October 2013

7th October - Death Cab for Cutie's Transatlanticism

Artist – Album: Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism
Released: 7th October 2003
Sounds Like: Anything but emo

Not too many of us covered ourselves in glory in the midst of the explosion of emo in the early 00’s. I mean, the term alone is completely ridiculous: surely the majority of songs are emotive, and soul and blues are both genres that have a reputation for being able to make you feel a certain way. That aside, MTV made stars of some ridiculously derivative, half-assed bands who had about as much originality as an Elvis tribute act. Then there was the backlash against the scene, which led in some cases to disturbingly fierce bullying of people just because of their taste in music. A minority of the fans didn’t exactly help themselves though, seemingly taking the themes of suicide and alienation as badges of honour rather than issues to be worked through. And then there were those of us that chose to completely write off the genre – thereby missing plenty of unique and talented bands that had somehow become tarred with the same brush as this taboo genre. Death Cab for Cutie were one of those bands for me.

If Transatlanticism had come solely under the banner of alternative rock/indie, then I imagine I would’ve been a much bigger fan when I was younger. This definitely comes across as music that means more as a teenager, and I feel sorry that I didn’t allow myself to listen to it. Some of the songs –‘A Lack of Color’ and ‘The Sound of Settling’ – are simply beautiful, whilst the likes of ‘We Looked Like Giants’ has enough bite to keep things edgy. Ben Gibbard has a wonderfully plaintive voice and a way with words that rivals that of any of his contemporaries (although the overly extended metaphor on ‘Title and Registation’ does grate a little). Ultimately, there’s nothing quite as instantly arresting as Gibbard’s work with The Postal Service, nor ‘A Movie Script Ending’ on this album’s predecessor, but the album as a whole is well realised, well done and well worth a listen.

Albumaday... rating: 6/10

1.       The New Year – 4:0
2.       Lightness – 3:30
3.       Title and Registration – 3:39
4.       Expo ’86 – 4:11
5.       The Sound of Settling – 2:12
6.       Tiny Vessels – 4:21
7.       Transatlanticism – 7:55
8.       Passenger Seat – 3:41
9.       Death of An Interior Decorator – 2:56
10.   We Looked Like Giants – 5:32
11.   A Lack of Color – 3:35

Listen to ‘Expo '86’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hHbVvTuuV4

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