Death Cab for Cutie’s ‘Narrow Stairs’ Needs You: Buzznet Album Review

You know that scene in “High Fidelity” in which John Cusack yells, “I just want to put on something I can IGNORE!” as a protest to the perky tunes Jack Black was forcing upon him on a Monday morning? Death Cab for Cutie’s Narrow Stairs is that something you can put on to ignore. Have at it, Mr. Cusack.

Putting on this disc is like slipping into a warm bath — that may seem like a sissy way to describe a piece of work that a band worked so hard on, but if you were a cat sunbathing in a window, these would be your tunes. If you were wandering through a small town in search of maybe an ice cream sundae or hot chocolate and some good conversation, this would be your album.

Maybe that’s because it’s more about the music than the lyrics; it’s more repetition than revelation. Ben Gibbard and his crew want you to RELAX (into submission.)

That being said, there are some standout lyrics that will float into your semi-consciousness and get you nodding in agreement. “The longer you think, the less you know what to do” from “Talking Bird” is one especially memorable line, while other songs secure their spots as outright stalker anthems (sorry, but the choice of language on “I Will Possess Your Heart” is just creep-tastic).

This is the kind of music the listener has to give meaning to. It needs your moments, your associations, your daydream imagery to really reach its full potential. Yeah, Narrow Stairs needs you.

Chhhhheck Mark’s review of The T4 Project‘s Story-Based Concept Album and Scott’s review of The Black Angels‘ Directions to See a Ghost.