Benjamin Gibbard’s solo debut album, Former Lives (on Barsuk Records), is an exceptionally beautiful album. The record has an almost joyous, happy tone to it as oppose to the deeply emotional and dark tones Death Cab for Cutie fans are accustomed to.
Now, that’s not to say that Former Lives is by any means a bad album; the album is arguably one of the best to be released this year. Ben Gibbard is a powerful songwriter and an even better musician. Each song on the album has a unique twist, which is tied together with Ben’s pleasant vocals and lyrics.
“I had kind of recognized that all of these tunes are very different from each other,” Ben told Stereogum. “One song has a Mariachi band, the next song is acoustic.”
It’s hard to highlight specific songs, as the entire album is filled with masterpieces, but a personal favourite is ‘Bigger Than Love’, which features a duet with Aimee Mann.
The first single off the album, ‘Teardrop Windows’, gives listeners the perfect tone for the album and offers an example of what is to come with later songs on the album. The record is one of a kind, and it is tough to compare it to other musicians or albums. However, fans of soft melodies, meaningful lyrics, and pleasant guitar riffs will very much love this record.
Former Lives is a great example of how great music still exists and will continue to exist. The album is extremely encouraging and will be greatly enjoyed by all.