Death Cab for Cutie releases fifth album on a new label

Death Cab for Cutie created their fifth album, Plans, with the help of major label Atlantic Records after three years of loyalty to indie label Barsuk Records. Many of their devoted fans never thought Death Cab would make the dreaded switch. Death Cab for Cutie has become very popular in mainstream music since their songs were first featured on last year’s hit teen drama “The O.C.” and HBO’s hit show “Six Feet Under.”

Singer Ben Gibbard, guitarist Chris Walla, bassist Nick Harmer and drummer Jason McGerr make up the quartet that hails from Seattle.

Listeners who have not heard any Death Cab albums before this one might be interested in Gibbard’s view of life. Understanding an artist’s thoughts makes the music more powerful.

“When things are going great I can only think, ‘When is this going to end?'” Gibbard said in an MTV news article. “[In a good relationship] it’s like, ‘One of us is gonna die one day, and that’s really gonna be a bummer.’ Knowing that there will be an eventual end to it is something I can’t shake and should probably seek therapy for.”

There are expressions of love and loss in relationships and questions concerning death and life present in Gibbard’s lyrics. Plans enables people to get inside his head and listen to his thoughts on a day to day basis. Walla even insisted on traveling to an isolated barn in Longview, Massachusetts to produce this creative album.

The first track on the album, “Marching bands of Manhattan,” is a lyrical story that each listener will experience differently. The stage is set with organs that are played softly in the beginning of the song and then builds to a louder playing of a piano. The words flow together and get louder.

Each person will see a different picture in their head of the scene that Gibbard is trying to explain.

“Soul Meets Body” is the first single off the album. Gibbard feels as if he is disconnected from his body at times. He is singing about looking ahead into the future and his reluctance to enjoy the present. He has a desperate desire to know what lies ahead and what is to become of his relationships with people.

One of the best love songs on the album is “Summer Skin.” The song is about a summer relationship that ended quickly, maybe too abruptly for Gibbard. It is sweet and sad at the same time when he sings, “On the night you left I came over and we peeled the freckles off our shoulders.”

It has the same power and intense emotion as the song “Title and Registration” on their Transatlanticism album.

“Follow You Into the Dark” is a sweet acoustic song about death. Gibbard is not at peace with his life and he can only think of what lies ahead. He is thinking about wanting to be with the one he loves when he eventually dies. He sings,”If there’s no one beside you, then I’ll follow you into the dark.”

“Someday You Will Be Loved” is a cute song about Gibbard’s love for a girl. He ended the relationship for the sake of the girl because he does not think he is good enough for her.

Gibbard desires for her to be happy with another person. He cares about her even though they are not together.

“What Sarah Said” is an extremely depressing song about someone Gibbard loved that passed away. This song is about his experience in the hospital when he found out she was going to die. Her death could be why he always tends to think about dying more than he thinks about living.

This album is about a desire to know how life will be in the future. Gibbard knows he can not answer that question and this album is his struggle to live in the present an enjoy the relationships and life that exist around him. The best part of the album is that it still remains optimistic.