Pin It
Favorite

'Codes and Keys,' Death Cab for Cutie 

For once, Death Cab ceases to be pitch-perfect.

click to enlarge Death Cab for Cutie
  • Death Cab for Cutie

There might be a good album buried under Codes and Keys’ excessive production, but it’s hard to tell. Death Cab for Cutie has always excelled with personable songs, but the way Codes and Keys was put together undermines that completely. Producer/ guitarist Chris Walla has struggled with over-production at times (see: half the songs on Tegan & Sara’s The Con), and that’s the case again here — the first time, arguably, on a Death Cab album.

The most fatal flaw here is the handling of frontman Ben Gibbard’s vocals. His voice is stripped of warmth — distant, over-layered, synthetic-sounding. It’s hard to connect to a word he’s singing.

The instrumentals seem similarly removed, with only Jason McGurr’s excellent drumming feeling natural. The album does feature more keyboards than previous Death Cab albums, most notably on “Codes and Keys” and “Portable Television.” Beyond the production, Codes and Keys lacks the variety of hooks and lyrical sharpness that prevail on previous Death Cab releases. This humdrum mishmash is Death Cab’s first misfire.

— SETH SOMMERFELD

DOWNLOAD: “Doors Unlocked and Open”

{embed_video}

Tags:

  • Pin It

Latest in Music

  • Keepin' On
  • Keepin' On

    All around the Inland Northwest, the music scene continues to persevere
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Latest Puzzle
  • Latest Puzzle

    How the Broken Thumbs find themselves melding rock instruments and a computer
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Modern Cool
  • Modern Cool

    Jessica Hernandez kicks out new jams steeped in Detroit's musical roots
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Seth Sommerfeld

Most Commented On

  • Fresh Spin

    A local record shop is reincarnated under a new owner, giving this generation a taste of vinyl
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • Hairy Matters

    L.A. glam-metal pioneers Mötley Crüe are calling it quits, and that's not necessarily a good thing.
    • Nov 19, 2014
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Film


Review


© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation