Transatlanticism

Transatlanticism

4.6 43
by Death Cab for Cutie
     
 

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Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard writes lyrics that grow from small details into large stories while the music often grows in commensurate scale. Case in point: Transatlanticism's "Title and Registration," which begins with a seemingly mundane observation -- "The glove compartment isn't accurately named and everybody knows it / so I'm proposing a swiftly

Overview

Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard writes lyrics that grow from small details into large stories while the music often grows in commensurate scale. Case in point: Transatlanticism's "Title and Registration," which begins with a seemingly mundane observation -- "The glove compartment isn't accurately named and everybody knows it / so I'm proposing a swiftly orderly change" -- but turns out to be about security, a lost love, and a delicious sense of melancholy. Beginning with a crisp, resonant guitar figure and a simple electronic rhythm track, the song slowly gathers depth with distant keyboards and increasingly prominent bass. Like early New Order, who provide a template for much of Transatlanticism, Death Cab find magic in simplicity; it's a talent Gibbard demonstrated in his recent work with the Postal Service, too. Although the album has its overtly big moments -- "The New Year," the rallying cry for the defeated that opens the album; the eight-minute title track, about feeling oceans apart from someone; "The Sound of Settling," which shifts into high gear with crashing guitars -- it's even better on understated songs such as "Lightness," "Expo '86," and "Death of an Interior Decorator." Transatlanticism, Death Cab's fourth album, is full of small pleasures writ large.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rob Theakston
As musical lunacy goes, things have gotten as crazy as it gets for Death Cab for Cutie since 2002's You Can Play These Songs with Chords compilation. A wildly successful tour with Dismemberment Plan, a collaboration for singer Ben Gibbard with emo-electronic guru Dntel under the Postal Service moniker, and a whole new legion of fans swooning to Gibbard's lyrics as if he were a modern day answer to Kiss Me-era Robert Smith have all amassed considerable hype around Transatlanticism. But the group proves themselves more than equal to the task, answering the call and proving the cynics wrong with their most focused and most mature work in their entire catalog. Transatlanticism wastes absolutely no time and dives in head first with "The New Year," one of the most melodramatic openings to an album since the Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight, Tonight" from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The mellow, mixed-meter percussion and dense atmosphere of "Lightness" is a brilliant lead into the pop-happy "Expo '86" and "The Sound of Settling" before setting up the climatic and intensely dramatic title track. Unconsciously taking a page from Blur's "Sing," the hypnotic drumming and guitar call and responses through the eight-minute climax of the album are backed with a singalong finale that unquestionably will have every audience on the next tour singing along and holding up their lighters. And while most albums would be left exhausted after such a track, the group keeps things moving, albeit at a much slower pace than compared to the anthems that packed the first half. Gibbard seamlessly makes the transition between songs that full out rock to songs that are comparable to Elliott Smith's finest hour with great ease. But it's Gibbard's poetic lyrics and signature introspection that remain a bench mark for Death Cab; and it's the group's maturity as musicians as well as songwriters that make Transatlanticism such a decadently good listen from start to finish. The band has never sounded more cohesive, the track sequencing is brilliant, and it caps off a triumphant year for not only Gibbard, but a band whose time and greater recognition is finally due.
New York Times - Kelefa Sanneh
Gorgeous, subtle... perhaps the best-sounding indie-rock album of the year.
Spin Magazine - Andy Greenwald
A breakup album that refuses to break down. (A-)

Product Details

Release Date:
10/07/2003
Label:
Barsuk
UPC:
0655173103227
catalogNumber:
31032
Rank:
9988

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Transatlanticism 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
It doesn't get any better then this. Musically, emotionally, lyrically. It is just a full flown tour de force. The album blows you away with the rock, then brings you right back down with the more emo inspired songs. It is a good listen for anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
absolutely gorgeous. death cab for cutie is wonderfully soothing. its the kind of music that you drive slowly to, sleep to, gaze at the stars to, cuddle in your sweetheart's arm to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Found it at random, emptied my wallet, and fell in love with it. It's got a song for any mood, all beautifully done and seamlessly smooth. Bravo! Ehh.. but the band's name seems a tad morbid, though, but I'll forgive...
Guest More than 1 year ago
its good, im in love with them
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ben & co. throw down here. And we're not talking about normal throwing down. This is rock and roll. THIS, my friends, is how music should have always been made. I feel sorry for anyone who has existed in this ride called life without having partaken the downright brillance of this masterpeice. Death Cab. Only the greatest band that has ever graced us with their presence.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I actually didn't really like this album at first, but it really grew on me. It's a beautiful album on all levels. The lyrics although sometimes border-line pretentious are all great. This album is perfect for lying in bed alone and thinking. Which as a clinically depressed 14 year old, I tend to do a lot. It's uplifting and very fluid....it flows like a river....or some other sort of body of water that moves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this album on a whim a few months ago and completely fell in love. It opens full on with powerful guitar that you'll rock out to. The album progresses to Title and Registration, which starts out smart alec-ish and ends with me in tears. Transatlanticism is a stirring, eight minute journey into the song writers aching heart. Don't get me wrong, much of it is also upbeat and danceable. The best part is that you don't have to be a hardcore indie fan to love this. Its just amazing and it stands alone as one of the best albums of the year thus far, in this reveiwers ever so humble opinion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The O.C. plugged it, what else is there to say about this album!? The lyrics are so astounding, even if the beat was "grandma driving slow." Although I do not like the lyrics to "Lack of Color" because my brother said after listening to it that he wanted to kill himself
Guest More than 1 year ago
The theme of this whole album is long distance relationships. It's sad and moody and even if I'm in a good mood, the majority of these songs make me really sad. The last track hits close to home and it was this song that spurred me to buy the whole album. Something I have yet to regret. favorite tracks include, 1,3,4,5,10 & 11. hah. ok, ok. The whole album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVE this album. In my mind, Death Cab For Cutie can do no wrong!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is such a well made album. The lyrics are eloquent, thoughtful and poignant. "I wish the world was flat like the old days and I could travel just by folding a map". The music is just left of center enought to be called unique but no too much as to be called pretentious. I would highly recomment this album to anyone who loves the depth of good music. This album is like a warm blanket on cold night.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Transatlanticism' is easily one of the best albums I've heard in the past 2 years. Every song is good. You'll want to listen to the entire album over and over again. The music is very subtle, but catchy. The lyrics are haunting and poetic. This is everything an indie album should be. And then some. I honestly do not know how I ever survived without this CD! My favourite tracks are 'Tiny Vessels', 'We Looked Like Giants', and 'The Sound of Settling.' But the whole CD is worth the money just for 'Tiny Vessels.' That song is life-changing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Transatlanticism is quite possibly one of the greatest cd's ever made on the face of this earth. The Emo sounds coming out of this album is hypnotic. Death Cab has not gotten out to the mainstream and made big record sales because not to many people are into the whole Emo thing. Once anyone starts listening to the first 3 tracks they will be yerning for more. Death Cab is used very frequently on TV shows and that is where people might notice them from. The Band will leave you feeling numb after a concert. Everyone that has a heartbeat and the ability to listen to music should check them out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is one of my top 5 favorite all time albums. It continues to grow on me each time I listen to it unlike most albums these days. Ben Gibbard's lyrics are honest and moving, and Death Cab's ability to take a turtle paced rhythm and twist it into an exhilariting tune make this album unbelievable. My favorite tracks include "Tiny Vessels", "Transatlanticism", "We Looked Like Giants" and "The New Year" but every song on this album rocks!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Transatlanticism by Death Cab For Cutie. The whole cd is great Thank God for cretive music such as this. I feel fortunate to be able to listen to great bands like DCFC and Arcade Fire, Franz Fernand and British Sea Power for example. There is an explosion of great rock bands out there, a blessing for lovers of rock music. A welcome option to Britney Spears and other boring pop acts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the cd Transatlanticism by Death Cab For Cutie. All eleven songs are great. The New Year has a great "wall of sound", different layers of guitar in the song. Trnastlanticism is 7 minutes of Ben Gibbard showing his creativity as a songwriter. All the songs on the cd are worth listening to. There are many boring, generic bands out there. Thank for bands like Death Cab For Cutie, who come out consistenly with creative, exciting music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first picked this CD up 5 years ago in middle school, and I've been in love ever since. Ben Gibbard's voice is gorgeous and the music is so melodic. Every song on this CD flows and bleeds into the other. Ben's words can ring true in any person. Everyone can relate to what he says. I've stuck with DCFC all these years,and they were with me through all the hard times I have faced, and will still be there in time to come. They are what I always turn to for every mood I face. They still remain my favorite band, and this is theirbest album. Transatlanticism is the first album where the band put all their ideas together, making this work of art. If you have not heard it just listen to a few songs and you'll fall in love.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The songs have powerful lyrics and the music is good. It is something worth listening to no matter what your mood is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Really beautiful, clean, gorgeous sound. So exploratory as compared to the photo album and we have the facts and we're voting yes. The music is honestly, graceful. It's hard to describe the revolutionary lyrics and stunning melodies... beautiful!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of my friends lent this CD to me and at first i wasnt sure if i liked it that much but the more i listened to it, the more i fell in love with it. Its one of my very favorites now. I think you should definately listen to it. The whole thing is great and really unique. I love the lyrics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best CDs I have ever heard. Some of the finest lyrics you will ever hear by anybody. Gibbard is one of the best songwriters out there. You can't miss this album!
RAyce_sXe More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing CD, and if your not already a death cab fan, not a bad place to start.. took me a couple times of listening to it for it to grow on me, but it does in a big way.. awesome cd worth getting fo show..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago