Ben Gibbard, Death Cab for Cutie's voice and resident wordsmith, is the best lyricist of the past decade -- although the insufferable indie-rock glitterati might argue that the title belongs to Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy, who holds a degree in creative writing. While Meloy's hyper-literate prose is certainly impressive, the songs are hardly as resonant -- especially for listeners who are not quite as erudite. Meanwhile, Gibbard's lines are just as painstakingly well-crafted -- the guy's verses are written out in complete sentences, for chrissakes -- and his songs, which are poignant, tangible tales of heartbreak and alienation, are imbued with a consistently gut-wrenching pathos. Granted, Gibbard has been phoning it in a little since his moonlighting stint with the Postal Service: Plans, Death Cab's major-label debut, fails to match the brilliance of 2001's The Photo Album and is more on par with last year's spotty Transatlanticism. But even when he's half-stepping, Gibbard is light-years ahead of just about everybody else.
Recommended For YouPowered by SailThru
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!