Pin It
Favorite

CD Reviews 

by Luke Baumgarten and Joel Smith & r & Death Cab For Cutie Plans ** & r & Insipid! How can a band that has made such exciting albums and been given a major-label budget come up with something this boring? Busier than previous albums, but with less going on, twinkling keyboards try to mask the fact that Ben Gibbard is plowing the same well-tilled field. Same love letter similes. Youth, devotion and loss. Whatever.


Still, "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" almost redeems the whole album single-handedly. Containing the rhyme "Catholic School / As vicious as Roman rule," it's got the verve of early Death Cab or, dare say, Postal Service's better moments. "Crooked Teeth" is very good, too.


It would be easy to blame this on Atlantic, but this isn't some sudden leveling off. Soon after The Stranger proclaimed Death Cab's Transatlanticism their album of the year (2003), they admitted that every one on the staff had stopped listening to it. Plans is even less memorable, and with quantities of good pop floating around, a forgettable CD is as bad as a terrible one. -- Luke Baumgarten








Laura Veirs Year of Meteors **** & r & Listening to this album is like floating listlessly through space. It's dark and murky and a little sci-fi weird. Nearly the entire thing -- from the hypnotic opening track to the spooky closing ode to Lake Washington -- is draped in minor keys, impregnated with noodly electronic wee-doos.


But you don't get the cold alien feeling you do with Elton John's "Rocket Man." The album never gets mired in its musical darkness. Instead it's buoyed, almost weightlessly, by a kind of quiet wonder. Veirs writes about "bears and boulders vibrating through the air," dark caverns of the heart filled with "fish without eyes, bats with their heads hanging down."


She also has an uncanny ability to turn a song inside out in an instant, gracefully veering (get it?) out of a moody minor key and into a sunny major on a voice that is almost completely free of frills and tremolo but still utterly haunting. On songs like "Magnetized" and "Spelunking," the effect is breathtaking. Like stepping out onto the surface of the moon. -- Joel Smith
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Children Will Listen
  • Children Will Listen

    How art speaks to life in this particular moment
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • So Here We Are
  • So Here We Are

    Here's hoping the new president fills the office with the grace and sense of tradition it requires
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Get Big Money Out
  • Get Big Money Out

    Letters to the Editor
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Drop In & Code

Drop In & Code @ Spark Central

Wed., Jan. 25, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • One Free Shave

    Donald Trump might have merited a honeymoon with voters had he managed his transition better
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • The Landed and the White

    How Americans followed tradition when they voted for Trump
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Comment


Briefs


marijuana


green zone


Politics


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • More Than a Statistic
  • More Than a Statistic

    Whether in Seattle, Spokane or Sandpoint, every homeless person has a story worth hearing
    • Apr 21, 2016

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation