Codes and Keys

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
Props to Zooey Deschanel for finally cheering Ben Gibbard up. On Narrow Stairs, the Death Cab frontman sang songs like "You Could Do Better Than Me" and "Pity and Fear," filling the album with the sort of articulate, hyper-literate gloominess you might expect from a depressed poetry major. Codes and Keys, released three years after Narrow Stairs and two years after his marriage to Deschanel, paints a brighter picture. Gone are the breakup ballads, the odes to lost love, the down-in-the-dumps sentiment that filled most of Death Cab's earlier work. Instead, the album offers up a handful of odes to the sunny side of life. Gibbard alludes to his wife often, referencing her ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
Props to Zooey Deschanel for finally cheering Ben Gibbard up. On Narrow Stairs, the Death Cab frontman sang songs like "You Could Do Better Than Me" and "Pity and Fear," filling the album with the sort of articulate, hyper-literate gloominess you might expect from a depressed poetry major. Codes and Keys, released three years after Narrow Stairs and two years after his marriage to Deschanel, paints a brighter picture. Gone are the breakup ballads, the odes to lost love, the down-in-the-dumps sentiment that filled most of Death Cab's earlier work. Instead, the album offers up a handful of odes to the sunny side of life. Gibbard alludes to his wife often, referencing her retro charm on "Morning Morning" ("She may be young but she only likes old things/And modern music, it ain't to her tastes") and laying out a plan for the rest of their married life with "Doors Unlocked and Open" ("We'll live in slow motion and be free/with doors unlocked and open"). Beneath his vocals, more changes are taking place: a move away from guitar-based song arrangements, a stronger emphasis on keyboards, a willingness to explore the electro-acoustic link between Death Cab and the Postal Service, Gibbard's most famous side-project. Codes and Keys still sounds like a Death Cab album, but the guys explore the benefits of the recording studio more than ever before, boosting Jason McGerr's drums with bits of programmed percussion and scaling back their guitar riffs to sparse, articulate clumps of notes that ring out into the ether. There's a new-found emphasis on open space, on electronics, on Kid A-inspired webs of feedback and distortion that are draped behind the songs like ambient backdrops. It's not all machines and Eno-esque production -- a simple barroom piano opens up the title track, and "Stay Young, Go Dancing" (whose title would've seemed far out of place on any other Death Cab record) begins with an acoustic guitar -- but Codes and Keys certainly emphasizes the "studio" in "studio album," focusing as much on the music's presentation as its content. Luckily, there's enough genuine melody at the core of these songs to warrant their arrangements.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/31/2011
  • Label: Atlantic
  • UPC: 075678827044
  • Catalog Number: 527251
  • Sales rank: 34,873

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Death Cab for Cutie Primary Artist
Jory Fankuchen Strings
Chris Walla Group Member
Ben Gibbard Group Member
Jason McGerr Group Member
Minna Choi Conductor
Nicholas Harmer Group Member
Michelle Kwon Strings
Magik Magik Orchestra Strings
Liana Berube Strings
Philip Brezina Strings
Technical Credits
Trey Many Booking
Chris Walla Composer, Producer
Ben Gibbard Composer
Dana Childs Logistics
Jordan Kurland Management
Beau Sorenson Engineer
Adam Katz Logistics
Minna Choi Arranger
Roger Siebel Mastering
Chris Myhill Booking
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2011

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews