A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Indie-rock sweethearts Death Cab for Cutie have made the jump from tiny local label to the major league (Atlantic/WEA) with their band persona intact. A little slicker, softer, and heavy on the ballads, PLANS delivers the interesting, experimental songs and arrangements that fans have come to expect.
Is it any good?
Heavy on tasteful acoustic guitar tracks and impassioned folk-rock-influenced vocals, the songs are dreamy and literate; the production is carefully restrained. Ben Gibbard's emotional vocals are the glue that holds the album together, along with some nicely tasteful acoustic guitar tracks. Some songs are more successful than others, but their signature sound – melancholy and smooth, laid-back yet intense – remains intact, and interesting.
Occasional depression-fueled lyrics are presented with poetic subtlety that defuses the words ("In Catholic school as vicious as Roman rule/I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black" in "I Will Follow You into the Dark" or "love is watching someone die" in "What Sarah Said," for example). A great CD for aspiring young musicians, this is a perfect soundtrack for journal-writing and first-love longings.