Love is a cruel cycle. It comes and goes, coming back when you least expect it and sometimes leaving just as easily. Death Cab For Cutie know that all too well. The alternative rock legends have been wearing their hearts on their sleeves for more than two decades now, and that's not changing any time soon. Death Cab For Cutie reminisce of past love in Thank You For Today, their new album with a painful longing.
There's real sorrow in Thank You For Today when you really dig into it. It's indie, faraway synths may try to tell a different story, but the longing, reminiscent words are there to grab your heart. Opening track 'I Dreamt We Spoke Again' really sets the tone, being one of the saddest moments on the album. There's a certain fragility and hopelessness that comes with this track, its longing cry of "I dreamt we spoke again, but when I awoke, when I awoke I could not remember" truly coming off in a heartbreaking way. The record only continues to sing its pains away, 'Your Hurricane' wallowing in pain as it recounts feeling like nothing more than forgotten debris in a storm.
Thank You For Today isn't necessarily a heartbreak record. It's definitely heartbroken, but long after the matter was said and done. It's reflective, looking at the past and wondering what could have been. 'When We Drive' is a nostalgic track, warmer than others but tragic all the same, the final verse painfully knowing but pleading, "I can't expect you to be honest or to be faithful every day 'til the end / I just need you to be always a friend." Some tracks seem to give context, 'You Moved Away' documenting the struggle to cope with a relationship that ended once someone moved away, followed by 'Near/Far,' almost like a continuation where Ben Gibbard chants about emptiness knowing that the bond will remain no matter how faraway it may stretch. Warmer tracks like 'Gold Rush' maintain a warm vibe to add some memories to the record, while 'Summer Years' and its prominent bassline promise offer a more reflective tone of these memories. Closing track '60 & Punk' is a curtains closing kind of moment, with the atmosphere of an old-fashioned, empty bar and memories bittersweetly by your side.
Death Cab For Cutie reminisce of past love in Thank You For Today, bringing heartbreaking memories to hopelessly optimistic instrumentals. There's a lot of stories told in this record, and they can somehow all relate back to us. While every love is unique, we all sort of know the same pains of losing it. Thank You For Today is an ode to those memories that hurt but remind us of those good times.
Favorite Tracks: I Dreamt We Spoke Again, When We Drive
Least Favorite Track: Gold Rush
Rating: 76 / 100
Stream or buy Thank You For Today on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: