Album of the Day
After two years of touring behind their major label debut, alt-rockers Death Cab For Cutie returned with 2008's NARROW STAIRS. Guitarist Chris Walla's production brings the quartet back to its indie roots, though the melodies and instrumentation retain the upbeat appeal of PLANS. Thematically, things are a different story. NARROW STAIRS descends to some rather dark places; as singer-lyricist Ben Gibbard put it, “So much of the negativity in my life got funneled into it.” The 11 tracks here include tales of a natural disaster (“Grapevine Fires”), a melancholy bride (“Cath...”) and an 8-minute epic about a stalker (“I Will Possess Your Heart”) - and those were deemed singles. Despite the heavier subject matter, NARROW STAIRS was a success, becoming the band's first No.1 album and earning two Grammy nominations, and it's our pick of the day in honor of Gibbard's birthday.