Kintsugi is the Japanese art of fixing broken ceramics - quite a challenge. To Death Cab for Cutie, the title has significant meaning, considering the turbulent times the group has gone through between its 7th album released in 2011, and their newest. Whether they have come out stronger? We are just as curious as you are!
- Double LP £27.49
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- 0075678670015 / 2LP on Atlantic (one gold vinyl / one white vinyl / side 4 etched)
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- Kintsugi by Death Cab For Cutie
2 reviews. Add your own review.
If the delightful Zooey Deschanel had just finished with me then it’s fair to say that I’d probably be so upset that I’d just chop my own head off there and then. Ben Gibbard, though, is made of stronger stuff - he’s dusted himself down, got his hair perfectly ironed and made another album of post emo plaintive rock.
Perhaps more importantly Gibbard has had another break up - producer and guitarist Chris Walla has left the fold and his indie lo-fi boy credentials are sorely missed on this polished effort. Death Cab always had a knack whilst going wide screen of somehow retaining something of their fractured origins but this latest effort produced by the hilariously monikered Rich Costey sounds flat from the get go. This is the kind of record that a band makes when it has far too much money. Gibbard is a fine lyricist and singer and so nothing he puts his name to is ever going to be a complete disaster and ‘Black Sun’ in particular is a mature sun dappled take on Death Cab’s signature sound, ‘The Ghosts of Beverley Drive’ meanwhile adds synths and stadium guitars to the mix which make uneasy bedfellows.
Previous productions - although polished - always had a dry natural feel but these songs are slathered in a reverb which may sound great in a big auditorium but doesn’t suit Gibbard’s confessional songwriting. The middle section of the record is particularly worrying, with so-so ballads meshing with really bad synth efforts which make you long for the simplicity of the Postal Service whilst solid efforts like ‘El Dorado’ are only ok-ish taken in the context of post U2 angst stadium rock.
If Gibbard can’t win Deschanel back then he could use this record as an olive branch to get Walla back on board. Too much of the bands sound has been given over to high gloss production values.
8/10 Jack Customer review, 7th April 2015
Kintsugi may be one of Death Cab for Cutie’s most painfully honest and heartfelt statements yet. Kintsugi is cloaked in melancholy and grey-skied gloom, a welcome return to form at least. It may be not on the same level as Plans or Transatlanticism but it's probably better than Narrow Stairs and on pair with The Photo Album (which is seriously worth checking out for new fans). Still, too early to tell; only thing I can actually conclude is that this is an improvement from their last album and previews great things to come.
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