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Album Review: Kintsugi by Death Cab For Cutie

American Indie / Alt-Rock band Death Cab For Cutie released their 8th studio album, Kintsugi on the 31st March. It’s a commanding album that fits nicely into the accessible indie-rock mould; while not groundbreaking it sits easily amongst Death Cab For Cutie’s best work and could be considered their most instantaneous release.

Kintsugi wasn’t without its problems though; lead guitarist and founding member Chris Walla announced that he was leaving the band, though he continued contributing to the recording and creative process until the album was complete. Produced by Rich Costey, Kintsugi is the first Death Cab for Cutie album to feature an outside producer, as Walla had produced all previous releases by the band. That outside influence could well be the marker of the poppier feel.

You can’t underestimate the accessibility and instantaneousness of Kintsugi. The album is crammed with catchy hooks; each track suckers you in and leaves a lasting impression. Ben Gibbard’s vocal is as downbeat as always, yet there’s an overall feeling to Kintsugi that leaves you upbeat.

Take ‘Little Wanderer’ for example. The vocals may be considered by some to have a depressing tone, yet you’ll come out feeling refreshed and upbeat. As with every song you’ll get an overwhelming sense of positivity.

You’ll be hard pushed to find a dud track on Kintsugi. In fact you could can pinpoint to over half of the album being exceptionally strong and among the best album tracks released this year. ‘No Room In Frame’ gets the album off to a delectable start, it’s catchy and instantaneous. You’ll find three superb tracks in a row in the form of ‘The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive’, ‘Little Wanderer’ and ‘You’ve Haunted Me All My Life’, while you’ll be blown away by the commanding standout track ‘Good Help (Is So Hard To Find)’.

The delicate and folksy ‘Hold No Guns’ is beautiful while the 80’s feeling of ‘Everything’s A Ceiling’ will sucker you in and leave you begging for more. Kintsugi is a great album that you’ll find to be an enjoyable and easy listen. Death Cab For Cutie have been delivering essential albums for over 15 years and Kintsugi is yet another.

AD Rating: 9/10

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