Death Cab for Cutie : Codes and Keys

Howdy! I haven’t been posting for a while! I was on vacation and recovering mentally from my first major blogging blunder. Some of you may know what I am talking about, for the rest, I will try to post about it later.

Lately, I have been waiting very impatiently for the next album from Death Cab for Cutie entitled Codes and Keys. This band must be very careful with me, because I have been building increasingly high expectations about them with each passing album. I count on them to surprise me, and they haven’t dropped the ball with this last album.

I discovered Death Cab with Transatlanticism, their 4th studio album. Quite frankly, the albums before that can be safely ignored. Not that they aren’t good, but they really don’t compare with what Death Cab did next. DeathCab’s albums tend to revolve around central concepts. For example, Transatlanticism is mostly about long-distance relationships, while Plans is about long-term relationships. I haven’t quite figured out what Narrow Stairs is really about, it’s a little bit more subtle. However, what Codes and Keys is about is clear as day to me. And what a pleasant surprise it is!

I figured it all out when reading the text of the song entitled St. Peter’s Cathedral. Here is the verse that explains it all:

It’s only then that you will know
What lies above or down below
Or if these fictions only prove
How much you’ve really got to lose

Yes, Codes and Keys is about how we perceive death, and how it eventually gives meaning to our lives. Death Cab reveals a very strong freethinking bias by calling what lies above or down below fictions. It is not the only place in their lyrics where they make allusion to religious beliefs. This album is about how much more meaningful life can be without ultimate judgment, destiny and guidelines. The following lines from Unobstructed Views are especially beautiful:

There’s no eye in the sky
Just our love
No unobstructed view
No perfect truths
Just our love
Just our love
And there’s no verse
No monument of words
For our love
For they can’t hold
All I know about my love, about my love

The music itself, the melody and the instruments, really make the experience very emotional. They combine acoustic instruments, electric guitars and electronic flavours for a powerful mixture that should be reminiscent of bands like Arcade Fire. Fans of The Postal Service will find themselves in slighty familiar grounds here.

I really didn’t know that Death Cab for Cutie shared my views about the afterlife. Not only they really do, but they have an amazing way of sharing these views. The fact that there may be no life after death is too often considered like a bleak, nihilistic view that robs life of all its joy an meaning. Death Cab for Cutie show you how wrong that perspective is. Seriously, give Codes and Keys a try. Very mature, catchy, profound and cutting-edge. This could be their greatest album so far.

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One Response to Death Cab for Cutie : Codes and Keys

  1. Ian says:

    The lead singer of Deathcab was also in The Postal Service – the name comes from how he and another artist made that album by mailing tracks back and forth using the us postal service. Good to hear their latest doesn’t disappoint.

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