Death Cab for Cutie's Plans has Seattle's emo leaders jumping to a major label for their fifth studio album, but with no stylistic shifts for the mainstream - just more of the same earnest melodies wrapped in throbbing waves of guitar and keyboards. There's something vaguely disturbing about young men turning 30 but still caught in precious, existential despair. Songs here put a romantic spin on failed love and dying loved ones without traces of irony or humor. No doubt, this fills Death Cab's mostly adolescent audience with rapture, but it makes communication with the band's peers difficult, despite the music's intrinsic beauty.
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