A quick listen through the new Death Cab for Cutie album, Codes and Keys, and it’s clear that this is the group’s finest album yet. With their last album, Narrow Stairs, some fans were ready to write the group off as a band that would live on only in the hearts of people who watched The OC in High School.
Codes and Keys seems like a progression from their 2005 album, Plans–more “concept” style songs that don’t rigidly follow traditional song structure. That is what they have done on their latest effort, while at the same time, shedding some of their abundance of angst and sentimentality.
Now that the band has been fairly well established, it sounds like they have become much more comfortable in expressing their creativity. You can tell it is the album they wanted to make. It is not so much an album of memorable hooks, but hidden sonic surprises, sprinkled throughout each track. It is an album that will continue to surprise you with each additional listen.
Codes and Keys is definitely worth listening to and the sound is unique enough that it may have some good shelf life. If the band continues to develop their sound and continue to push themselves like they have done here, Death Cab for Cutie are set to be one of the more memorable bands of the last decade.
Turn it up!