Run up and down the Narrow Stairs

Death Cab for Cutie’s newest release Narrow Stairs is a mix of their Seattle instrumental guitar/piano/synth style combined with Ben Gibbard’s propensity of strong lyric writing and amazing pseudo-falsetto voice.

This album isn’t so much a drastic jump from previous album’s but more of a step to the side, or even a turn to the side unveiling another subtle aspect of the band’s nature. While Plans was very much akin to a dark, dreary, and rainy day with the occasional sunbeam shining through, Narrow Stairs has a musical style more like a drive through the country with the top down enjoying the sun and partial clarity immediately following said rainy day. The overall musical tone of the album is a bit more lively, energetic, and “musical”. I say musical because the album is full of minute long instrumental “jam sessions”. The second track “I Will Possess Your Heart” runs a track time of 8:25 with the opening 4:30 being solely instrumental. I’m probably on my 10th or so listen and the segment still has yet to get old. The instrumental emphasis flows throughout the album as tracks blend seamlessly with one another by interconnecting musical conduits.

Lyrically the album is on par with previous Death Cab releases. While not as deeply melancholy as Plans, Narrow Stairs still proves the lyrical mastery of Death Cab. It’s still saturated with heart-felt pleadings toward love as, “It’s like a book elegantly bound but in a language you cannot read.” Tracks sticking out so far as great lyrical utterances so far are those of: “I Will Possess Your Heart” and “Your New Twin Size Bed.”

Death Cab holds true to their passions and unique style with this newest release while continuing to take drastic steps in developing and searching through their musical nature. Narrow Stairs will take you on an experimental trip deeper into a love of the subtle facets of Death Cab’s talent.

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~ by veniatregnum on May 28, 2008.

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