Death Cab for Cutie: Thank You for Today review – Nothing’s gonna spoil Ben Gibbard’s bad day

Thu, Jan 17, 2019, 20:30

   
 

Album:
Thank You for Today

Artist:
Death Cab for Cutie

Label:
Warner Music

Genre:
Alternative

It often seems that no matter whatever happiness life throws at him, Ben Gibbard finds a way to mine the melancholia in any situation. The Seattle native poured his heart out on 2015’s Kintsugi following his split from actress Zooey Deschanel, but, despite remarrying since then, it seems that there are still some issues to be resolved.

Summer Years is a classic break-up song that sees him ponder, “I wonder where you are tonight/ If the one you’re with is a compromise,” and I Dreamt We Spoke Again positively drips with regret, although Your Hurricane is more defiant in its approach.

Despite this collection being the quintet’s first recording without long-term guitarist Chris Walla’s input, their musical palette remains a reliable blend of brisk, inventive indie-rock (Near/Far, Autumn Love) and maudlin balladry (You Moved Away, 60 & Punk), while Gold Rush brings warmth and funk to the tracklist in the same way that Northern Lights adds urgency and energy.

It’s unlikely to convert non-believers to Gibbard’s often dispirited style, but there is a comfort in the dependability of Death Cab for Cutie, even after nine albums.