Death Cab For Cutie

STANDARD DISCLAIMER: Every post on this site is meant to be a constantly evolving diary of my musical views. Therefore, any and all posts should be considered incomplete at any given time.



album section intro

Death Cab For Cutie Something About Airplanes album cover

Something About Airplanes

Release Year: 1998
My Rating: B-

Solid moody tuneful post-punk debut, even reminds me of some of The Cure's early stuff at times. Nothing hits like their future classics, but it's enjoyable in its own right.

HIGHLIGHTS: "Bend To Squares", "President of What?"

Death Cab For Cutie We Have The Facts And We’re Voting Yes album cover

We Have The Facts And We're Voting Yes

Release Year: 2000
My Rating: A+

A magical record, a total masterpiece. Much of it is just this beautiful, dreamy, hypnosis, and Gibbards vox / lyrics weave seemlessly to make it somehow engulfing and engaging. I'm going to gush if I go on.

HIGHLIGHTS: "Title Track", "The Employment Pages", "405", "Company Calls", "Scientist Studies"

Death Cab For Cutie The Photo Album album cover

The Photo Album

Release Year: 2001
My Rating: B+

Not bad, not great, MERELY PRETTY DARNGARN GOOD. Aside from 2 tracks, this isn't loaded with classics like FACTS or TRANSATLANTICISM. And, hey! It's tough to be the cutie between the two prettiest girls in the room. But like other "lesser" records, it has room to grow on ya.

HIGHLIGHTS: "A Movie Script Ending", "We Laugh Indoors", "Information Travels Faster", "Debate Exposes Doubt"

Death Cab For Cutie Transatlanticism album cover


Release Year: 2003
My Rating: A+

A perfect classic? Well, it's so great that any flaws that it has simply pale in comparison. I remember not caring about this when it came out, but at this point, reality doesn't seem possible without it. It may be the perfect epitome of sad bastard music, but it's a sadness that's so damn beautiful you can't help but lose yourself in it.

HIGHLIGHTS: "The New Year", "Title and Registration", "The Sound of Settling", "Tiny Vessels", "Transatlanticism", "Passenger Seat"

Death Cab For Cutie Plans album cover


Release Year: 2005
My Rating: A

May be just a BIT over-produced, but if Transatlanticism had never happened and this alone did, it would be the band's biggest record, for sure. A classic in its own right, and a special record for me. Just evocative of memory and nostalgia, WOW.

HIGHLIGHTS: "Marching Bands of Manhattan", "Soul Meets Body", "Summer Skin", "Different Names For The Same Thing", "I Will Follow You Into The Dark", "Your Heart Is An Empty Room", "Crooked Teeth", "What Sarah Said"

Death Cab For Cutie Narrow Stairs album cover

Narrow Stairs

Release Year: 2008
My Rating: C+

Despite containing two of Death Cab's best tracks, this album is, for me, the point at which Death Cab lost the plot. Maybe it's just much too direct? I don't know, but it lacks that mood, that atmosphere, that overcast magic that made their first decade of records so special.

HIGHLIGHTS: "I Will Possess Your Heart", "Grapevine Fires"

Death Cab For Cutie Codes And Keys album cover

Codes And Keys

Release Year: 2011
My Rating: B

It's the experimental moments on this record that are the best - the rest sounds like big label modern pop-rock made for radio. Yuck. The middle section is pretty solid tho - I'm here for the off-kilter, mysterious Death Cab rather than the up-front singer-songwriter Death Cab, which honestly, might be better as a BG solo project. The big deal thing was they just couldn't figure out whether this was OK Computer or Be Here Now.

HIGHLIGHTS: "Home Is A Fire", "Doors Unlocked and Open", "Unobstructed Views", "Monday Morning"

Death Cab For Cutie Kintsugi album cover


Release Year: 2015
My Rating: C+

Bands need to evolve, but for me, this is the second album of Death Cab evolving AWAY from the very ethos and aesthetic that made them so great in the first place. And the re-invention is bland, over-produced, radio rock. Just kinda boring.

HIGHLIGHTS: "No Room In Frame", "Ghosts of Beverly Drive"

Death Cab For Cutie Thank You For Today album cover

Thank You For Today

Release Year: 2018
My Rating: B+

At this point, I just miss that old Death Cab sound - that enchanting sleepyheaded vibe that their earlier material exudes. But did they hide a great album of Radioheaded exploration behind a totally boring album title? It's not perfect ("Gold Rush" is just boring), but otherwise there's some great stuff here.

HIGHLIGHTS: "I Dreamt We Spoke Again", "Summer Years", "Your Hurricane", "When We Drive", "Near/Far"

Death Cab For Cutie Asphalt Meadows album cover

Asphalt Meadows

Release Year: 2022
My Rating: A-

Is this a renaissance for Death Cab? Perhaps. There's no going back to the glorious indie days for sure, but this seems to synthesize all of their variant explorations since PLANS into their most solid LP since 2005. I dig it!

HIGHLIGHTS: "I Don't Know How To Survive", "Roman Candles", "Rand McNally", "Foxglove Through The Clearcut", "Pepper", "Fragments From The Decade"


You Can Play These Songs With Chords [compilation]

Release Year: 2002
My Rating: B

Early odds and sods collection featuring Gibbard's original demo from 1997. I like some of the early versions better than the later versions on SAA, the production is lighter and bouncier. "Army Corps of Architects" is a GEM.

HIGHLIGHTS: "Army Corps of Architects", "Wait", "Pictures In An Exhibition"

Death Cab For Cutie Forbidden Love EP album cover

Forbidden Love EP

Release Year: 2000

One classic, one solid, a great acoustic version, and then 2 filler tracks. But "Photobooth" is worth the price of admission alone.

HIGHLIGHTS: "Photobooth", "Song for Kelly Huckaby"

Death Cab For Cutie The Stability EP album cover

The Stability EP

Release Year: 2000

I could do with more Death Cab the jam band. I've always been more drawn to THAT SOUND than the songs anyway.

HIGHLIGHTS: "Stability"

Death Cab For Cutie The Open Door EP album cover

The Open Door EP

Release Year: 2009

Solid EP of outtakes from the Narrow Stairs era. The first two are great rarity tracks - too bad everything's so readily available at this point, are they might be the sort of hidden gems the true fans used to trade around.

HIGHLIGHTS: "Little Bribes", "A Diamond and a Tether"

Death Cab For Cutie The Blue EP album cover

The Blue EP

Release Year: 2019

More like OUT OF THE BLUE, AMIRITE??? This is an extremely solid late era Death Cab EP, and to be honest, I'm surprised it sounds as vital as it does. While there are no Top 10 quality tracks here for me, it sounds like bona fide Death Cab, and I'm pleasantly surprised to be able to say that after just about having given up on them.

HIGHLIGHTS: "To The Ground", "Kids in '99"

  • “Meet Me On The Equinox”: Death Cab + teenage vampires in the PacNorWest. Of course it works.


coming soon…

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