Death Cab for Cutie – Narrow Stairs

January 01, 1970





Ben Gibbard has made a career out of being miserable, so
it’s no surprise that Death Cab for Cutie’s latest album is a similar foray into
all things depressing. But while Death Cab’s previous albums, 2003’s Transatlanticism and 2005’s Plans, had a meandering, dreamlike
quality interspersed with despairing lyrics about failed relationships and
lives falling apart, Narrow Stairs buzzes with a frenzied, frantic tone, mixed with an (un)healthy dose of


Gibbard still excels at making pained lyrics sound
disturbingly happy, such as on “No Sunlight” (“the optimist died inside of me,”
he sings) and jams occur heavy and often, as with the first four minutes of the
stalker-ish first single “I Will Possess Your Heart.” But the similarity of
subject matter and instrumentation (lush as it may be) make all the songs flow
together into one morose blob; only a few markedly different tracks, such as “Bixby Canyon
Bridge” and “Pity and
Fear,” stand out. Overall, the album is more of the same for Death Cab –
there’s nothing on here as fantastic as on Transatlanticism,
and there’s nothing as interesting or melodic as on Plans. Narrow Stairs is
just as morose as you expected – nothing more.


Standout Tracks: “I
Will Possess Your Heart,” “Pity and Fear” ROXANA HADADI

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