Codes and Keys

Codes and Keys

With Codes and Keys Death Cab for Cutie turn on their heart light. Singer Ben Gibbard is now happily married to actress Zooey Deschanel and his worldview has gotten notably brighter. The band has also shifted the sound from guitars to analog synths that when mixed by Alan Moulder, the man who gave My Bloody Valentine and Nine Inch Nails a stronger definition, turns the group into an arena-rock superpower. “Doors Unlocked and Open” is a swerving piece of club music. “Some Boys” is an explosion of joy as Gibbard instructs, “Some boys don’t know how to love.” But he does. “You Are a Tourist” takes an indie-rock band and raises the recording budget until Death Cab sound like a mainstream radio-pop band. For modern day AOR, check “Unobstructed Views” with its sweet wonder of reverb and keyboards. “Stay Young, Go Dancing” shuffles with a kind hope while “Underneath the Sycamore” retains shades of power-pop as it dances in a bucolic light.

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