Album titles can be telling things. Death Cab For Cutie's eighth studio album seems to be more than appropriately titled. In the time since 2011's Codes and Keys, lead singer Ben Gibbard marriage to Zooey Deschanel dissolved, and in the process of recording this latest effort, lead guitarist and founding member Chris Walla announced that he was leaving the band. While Walla still stayed on for the rest of the sessions, Kintsugi is very much a breakup album. The title refers to the Japanese art involving fixing broken pottery, and as a philosophy of treating breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. Gibbard's lyrics trace these fractures over the soft and restrained pop rock sounds that Death Cab For Cutie has become so good at producing. The songs on Kintsugi a more spare than what has come on the album's predecessors. The slightly more muted tones lend themselves to the band's exploration of the changes that come with the onset of middle age.
- music label: Barsuk Records 2015
reviewed by Le Haim 04/2015