Death Cab for Cutie
If you are an O.C. fanatic you might know Death Cab for Cutie as television's most geeky half-Jew, Seth Cohen's favorite band.
He's name dropped them, given Death Cab CDs to friends as Chrismukkah gifts and if you look real carefully, you might have noticed a Death Cab poster on his wall. The two actually go well together. Seth Cohen epitomizes geek who makes good, gets the girl and becomes a sex symbol. Seth Cohen is single-handedly responsible for legitimizing geekdom and making what was once nerdy (comics, indie music and sci-fi) remarkably cool and mainstream. Death Cab's journey is quite similar and, thanks to Cohen's help, have taken their unique sound from the indie underground and made the jump to the mainstream by signing to a major label, much to the chagrin of hypercritic hipsters who instantly incite with words of "sell out!" on their blogs and webzines. They might want to take a listen, because on Plans, Death Cab's major label debut, not much has changed. It's still music for the lovesick, hopeless romantic. It's still atmospheric, melancholy, and emotive. And lead singer Ben Gibbard is still pondering, trying to figure out everything in his life via emotionally draining and contemplative ballads.
Like most Death Cab albums, the songs all have emotional resonance with downtrodden and downright depressing lyrics over upbeat melodies. Granted, it's hard to please after delivering a masterpiece, like 2003's Transatlanicism, the album that made everyone take notice. But Plans has substance and lyrics that anyone who has ever pondered mortally or has had their heart broken can relate to.