Death Cab for Cutie
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Lead singer Ben Gibbard pledges loyalty to a troubled friend ("Talking Bird") and sees potential in a relationship, given a chance to show his love ("I Will Possess Your Heart"). Romantic deception has consequences on "Long Division."
Most of the disc consists of grim songs that, while morally neutral, cast a depressing shadow. Whether it's a woman abandoning her dreams ("Cath..."), a futile pilgrimage to the site of a loved one's death ("Bixby Canyon Bridge") or a person trading in a queen-sized bed after giving up on ever having someone to share it with ("Your New Twin-Sized Bed"), it's one downer after another. On "You Can Do Better Than Me" a flirtatious man elects to stick with his partner simply because he knows he can't do any better. Elsewhere, a couple sips wine while watching a vineyard burn to the ground (the poetically fatalistic "Grapevine Fires"). Passing references to "lovers" suggest a loose sexual ethic ("I Will Possess Your Heart," "Long Division," "Pity and Fear").
Death Cab for Cutie's achingly sad, despairing songs fixate on relationships that aren't working and characters Rolling Stone referred to as "more creepy than cuddly." A well-written, heartbreaking slideshow of hopelessness and people's failure to fill their God-shaped hole.