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Death Cab for Cutie-Kintsugi [LP]
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Death Cab for Cutie

Kintsugi [LP]

Format: Vinyl   Release Date: 03/31/2015
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Reg. Price: $31.99

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As the group geared up to record the sequel to 2011's Codes and Keys, Ben Gibbard parted ways with co-founding member Chris Walla, leaving a fairly large gap in the Death Cab for Cutie camp. Gibbard hired Rich Costey -- a producer best-known for his work with Kimbra, Mew, Muse, Interpol, and Chvrches -- to help finish Kintsugi, a 2015 album that finds Death Cab sliding further into smoothness. Sentiment has always been Gibbard's calling card, but as he starts to stare down the corridor to 40, he seems comfortable with leaving that open heart unadorned -- or, better still, gussied up in a coat of studio shellac. Although there are fragile solo numbers dotted throughout the album, most of Kintsugi shimmers upon a gloss constructed out of new wave remnants and faded memories of yacht rock. Conceivably, Gibbard's intent hews toward the latter -- such clean disco-rock diversions as "Good Help (Is So Hard to Find)" and the galloping collegiate rock echoes of "El Dorado" show a yen for art -- but his open heart nudges Kintsugi toward new millennial soft rock. This is a feature, not a bug. Gibbard has a gentle touch so having cushy, sugary melodies mirrored by a production equally as supple feels like a marriage of intent and sound. [Kintsugi was also released on LP.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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