Hippo Manchester
September 29, 2005

 Navigation

   Home Page

   Hippo Nashua

 News & Features

   News

 Columns & Opinions

   Publisher's Note

   Boomers

   Pinings

   Longshots

   Techie

 Pop Culture

   Film

   TV

   Books
   Video Games
   CD Reviews

 Living

   Food

   Wine

   Beer
   Grazing Guide

 Music

   Articles

   Music Roundup

   Live Music/DJs

   MP3 & Podcasts

   Bandmates

 Arts

   Theater

   Art

 Find A Hippo

   Manchester

   Nashua

 Classifieds

   View Classified Ads

   Place a Classified Ad

 Advertising

   Advertising

   Rates

 Contact Us

   Hippo Staff

   How to Reach The Hippo

 Past Issues

   Browse by Cover


CD Reviews
by
Amy Diaz

Death Cab for Cutie, Plans

Atlantic, 2005

***

Lots of people can and do sing mopey songs about love, death and gloom. Death Cab for Cutie is one of the few bands that does it well.

It’s a skill — angst can so easily turn into whining; ruminations about life can quickly turn into stuff your philosophy major friends say when they’re high. Death Cab manages to stay just this side of that line.

Death Cab does good with the “upbeat” songs (why the quotes? You tell me, how upbeat is “Sorrow drips into your heart through a pin hole”?) and good with the darker moods (of which there are many more). The peppy “Marching Bands of Manhattan” (from which the previous line came) and “Soul Meets Body” (the dancy second track) are sort of softly ’80s-retro.

The real beauty of Death Cab comes in songs like “I Will Follow You Into the Dark,” the track from which the first quote came. Though the song is something of a sweet love song about a couple beating back the fear of death (and separation), it contains perhaps the best explanation of lapsed-Catholicism I’ve ever heard. The narrator describes an encounter with a nun “she told me, ‘Son/Fear is the heart of love,’ so I never went back.” Pulling this off takes something more than your run-of-the-indie-radio-mill use of emo sensibilities over catchy pop-rock.