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More Info:On their debut album, 1999's Something About Airplanes, Death Cab for Cutie proved there's a reason why Northwest music critics continue to sing their praises. The foursome combined the emo sounds of Modest Mouse and 764-Hero with an inventive, and often sly, sentimentality. It worked wonders, but still sounded a little too lo-fi. Luckily, on We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes the group has figured out all the production nuances that flawed that auspicious debut.
The opening "Title Track" begins by sounding both crappy and shallow, but the band is merely pulling your leg; two minutes later, the tune expands into a gorgeous, well-produced masterpiece. The album never looks back. Ben Gibbard's songwriting continues to evolve--"Company Calls" segues into, what else, the slower "Company Calls Epilogue"--while the simple lyrics of "For What Reason" and "405" tell infectious stories that demand repeated listenings. Proof positive the Northwest is still churning out great music.