4.5 Stars... Excellent reissue/deluxe edition
Paul Allaer | Cincinnati | 12/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What a year 2008 is turning out to be for Death Cab for Cutie. Their latest album "Narrow Stairs" was generally well received, both critically and commercially, earlier this year, and now, just in time to wrap up the year, comes this re-release/deluxe edition of the band's debut album from 10 years ago, with a bonus live CD from that era.
"Something About Airplanes" (2 CDs; 17 tracks; 78 min.) first brings the original album (10 tracks; 43 min.), which was released in August, 1998. This is a very strong debut album, no question, and indeed it is astonishing to hear how solid the band sounds, keeping in mind that they only formed in the summer of 1997. All the elements that would eventually lift DCFC into the more mainstream are already visibly in place here: pensive, dynamic and atmospheric tracks. From the opening sounds of "Bend to Squares", on to outstanding gems like "Pictures in an Exhibition, to "Sleep Spent" to the epic closer "Line of Best Fit", it's all here. In fact, this album is stronger than its follow-up "We Have the Facts" album, but that's just my opinion...
CD2 (7 tracks; 34 min.) brings the band's entire show from Seattle's Crocodile Cafe in February, 1998, 6 months before the release of the "Airplanes" album, and it is an outstanding addition to the album. From the sound of it, there weren't a lot of people there that particular evening, but it's irrelevant really. The band plays a couple of their earliest tunes (such as "Your Bruise"), and also several tunes that would end up on the album such as "President of What?', "Fake Frown", "Amputations" and "Pictures in an Exhibition". It's fascinating to hear these versions and how they compare to the eventual studio tracks they'd become. The band is in good form throughout, with a lot of banter in between songs, just great.
In all, this is is a very worthwhile "Deluxe Reissue", even if you own the original album. I saw DCFC in concert again several times this year, and they just keep on getting bigger and better. Maybe some fans of the early years are cringing that DCFC is getting so much commercial acclaim these days, but they shouldn't really. Their success is hard earned and much deserved.
Champagne From A Paper Cup
Marineinfinity | 11/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For everyone that has just started liking Death Cab in the last couple of years this will be a little different than what you're used to from Death Cab, but you'll learn to love it. This was from a time when Death Cab was a little darker, little more depressed. But Ben Gibbard's writing skills and the bands detail oriented talent shine through. Champagne From A Paper Cup is one of my favorite tracks. The first lyrics start out with a guy so fed up with the girl he's with "I think I'm finally drunk enough to drive you home now, got my mouth locked shut." It's a fun and beautiful album, don't focus on the dark side, focus on the details. Enjoy"