Release Date: Aug 30, 2005
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
For your consideration: a wildly successful indie rock band with a legion of followers on an equally successful, highly credible independent label makes the jump to major-label powerhouse Atlantic, leading to much chagrin and speculation among its fans as they awaited with bated breath for what would happen to the group. The result was For Your Own Special Sweetheart, inarguably the most polished and fully realized album of Dischord alumnus Jawbox's career. Fast forward ten years and you find Barsuk's Death Cab for Cutie in the same position, making the same move.
Death Cab for Cutie have The OC to thank for making them the subject of water-cooler chatter, after a recent appearance in the soap. And just like the show's teen characters, Death Cab for Cutie's songs appear perfect while seething with angst. Unfortunately, at times the band are as unconvincing as the show. Suffering from a late-twentysomething malaise, singer Ben Gibbard's angelic vocals sag with the weariness of a man who's gazed at his navel all his life only to realise there's nothing but fluff and darkness.