Thursday, October 13, 2005

Review: Death Cab For Cutie, Plans

I joined the party a bit late, jumping on the DC4C bandwagon only after the release of 2003's sublime Transatlanticism, but I made up for lost time by listening to that disc around the clock. Hell, I still do; if I ever get around to updating my Pop Kulcher's Greatest Albums Of All Time list, that one's gonna make the cut. And the new one, Plans? Not as good. But still a great album. Let's put it this way: it kinda makes me wish I were back in college, just so I could invite some sweet young thing back to my dorm room and play this disc to impress her with my sensitive side. Not like I ever did anything like that when I was in college; just saying.

I mean, really, this is pretty mushy stuff. Soul-searching, love and life and death and all the stuff of philosophy seminar essays. Which is ok with me, especially when it comes in such a nice candy-coated package. Hey, I can do lo-fi with the best of 'em -- ask me about my Guided By Voices EP collection, please -- but there is something to be said for pure, gorgeous sonic ooomph, and Plans has plenty of it. If Transatlanticism showed a huge leap forward for the band in terms of songwriting quality, catchiness, and production, this one shoots for the moon. At least sonically. Musically, it's a bit of a drop-off. Nothing that jumps out of the stereo and throttles your neck like, say, "The Sound Of Settling" from the last time. But it's a pretty consistent disc, with only one track lazy and shambling enough to send me reaching for the "skip" button. My advice: Go buy Transatlanticism; if you've already done that, and you liked it, then get Plans.


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