Posted by: outroversion | May 4, 2010

Death Cab For Cutie: A Retrospective

Before I begin a post I’ve been meaning to write ever since I started this blog, I’d just like to say Death Cab used to be my personal favourite band. I’m not in the “stopping liking someone because they got big” camp, but then everyone says they’re not; I’m more of the opinion that the less Ben Gibbard HAD to write amazing songs, the less he did.

The truth of the matter is, between 1997 and 2004 Ben Gibbard wrote amazing music with lyricism of such a consistantly astounding standard that means I still regard him as one of the best songwriters of the early 00’s indepedant seattle movement. And that is what I’m going to be focusing on and if casual listeners or twilight fans happen along here looking for news on their latest album I suggest they download this; the fact of the matter is in the future you’ll be lucky if he plays one of the songs i’ve included live but it wasn’t always how it is now.

Outroversion Presents: Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab For Cutie (1997-2004)

Up until Narrow Stairs, I loved every single song that was written under the name Death Cab for Cutie on at least some level. Some lyrically, are unsurpassable. Some musically and idealistically, prescient. It was a great time to have found what many liked to describe as “everyone’s favourite secret“. Introducing new people to this band was a pleasure, friendships and bonds that will remember this period forever and will do well not to let “the open door ep” tarnish those memories.

Title Track

For What Reason

Technicolour Girls

Lowell, MA


Company Calls epilogue

Fake Frowns

Debate Exposes Doubt

Prove My Hypothesis

Song for Kelly Huckerby

Army Corps of Architechts

20th Century Towers

Bend to Squares


Steadier Footing

Champagne from a paper cup



Title and Registration

We Laugh Indoors

Expo ’86

We Looked like Giants

Postal Service (2003)

The album was a masterpiece and surpassed anything Death Cab had done from a critical point of view. Ben was at his peak writing this album; remember that he also wrote Transatlantisicm during the same period. Incredible.

Such Great Heights

This Place is a prison

Recycled Air

The District Sleeps Alone Tonight

Brand New Colony

Dntel: (This is) The Dream of Evan and Chan

All Time Quarterback (1997)

It was twee, it was a side project to his other solo side project at the time, Death Cab for Cutie. The album is a snapshot of the start of 5 years of unrelenting creative artistry. It shows signs of what was to come in every aspect, lyrically (dinner at 8 in the suburbs), musically (obviously he played everything here himself, as with alot of “facts“). It was all recorded on cassette and bleeds everything that Ben liked about recorded music in the 90s.

Dinner at 8 in the suburbs



Sock Hop



After the success of Transatlanticism, Death cab have had a number one album with songs like “twin sized bed” “talking bird” and “pity and fear” on that I don’t even want on my ipod they’re that bad. They have also become one of the vampire house bands on the twilight movie series soundtrack, commercial success is guaranteed whether he writes another debate exposes doubt or not, so why bother?

Truth is if you’re looking forward to a new Postal Service album you may as well go listen to Owl City as the way things are going, he’ll be at number one again with a covers album of that.

Death Cab for Cutie wise, who knows? We’ve been pretty patient for five years, signs aren’t great but come on, this is the same guy who wrote We Look like Giants, 20th Century Towers and Stability. Signs aren’t great but there’s hope in the past, just maybe not the future…

Bonus MP3: Death Cab For Cutie- Dear Boy



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Carolyn Brooker, Carolyn Brooker. Carolyn Brooker said: RT @Outroversion: Death Cab For Cutie: A Retrospective: […]

  2. Beautiful article, outro


    i didnt know exactly WHEN i dropped out of the cab but once i read this i knew….. that open door :(

  3. […] written a Retrospective here with a mixtape of all the great older songs, check it […]

  4. […] the subject from a different angle I end up spewing vitriol about them. Check out the other times here, here and here… lol […]

  5. blah….

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