Monday, November 5, 2012

Ben Gibbard: Solo

Death Cab, the beginning of the emo-indie rock movement for so many of us growing up, the over-enunciated croons that walked us to and from our high school doors, the OC's musical best friend and some of our first live experiences.

I'm convinced that most young people have had a coming-of-age experience that was decorated with DCFC's atmospheric guitar pangs or lead singer Ben Gibbard's plain vocals, at some point during their adolescent life. Their niche kind of melodic alt-rock brought a new sound to the commerical airwaves and arenas, along with the help of other indie clans Modest Mouse and The Shins - and despite hesitation, we all know we were gratefully a part of that.
To hear that DCFC front man Ben Gibbard has ventured out on his own, outside of spin-off band Postal Service, post-separation from Zooey Deschanel and post-seventh studio album with his faithful DCFC crew - I just had to take a peak into his offshoot solo attempt and what it would hold, eight years after he became a very public industry figure and one of the godfather's of trendy alt-rock. What it holds isn't necessarily contradictory to the emotional romance-rock the front man has expertly written for over a decade, and to be honest, I can't see Gibbard venturing far beyond the sunny melodies and boyish vocals he's known to deliver anyway. I kind of like him just the way he is.

So, although not an extensive diversion from his tell-tale pleasing sound, Gibbard unloads plenty of emotional baggage through sweet chord combinations and shoulder-to-lean-on duets with the wise Aimee Mann. It's not experimental, it's not risky - but, it's enjoyable.

You be the judge.

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