For a guy who once sang bitterly of Los Angeles, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie sure seems to have made a nice new life here. Marrying Zooey Deschanel will brighten anyone's mood, but on his band's new album, "Codes and Keys," he's picked up a bit of L.A.'s sun-scarred optimism and a droll domestic satisfaction that's alternately smug and insightful. Fortunately, it's all bolstered by some of the most enticing production of the band's career. The title track has a nifty orchestral swoon and the ethereal guitars on "Underneath the Sycamore" back up one of the band's strongest choruses in years. Sounds as if Gibbard's just starting his 500 days of summer. Read more.
Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times
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