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I rather think they still are. Transatlanticism with fireworks, anyone?
Actual shivers down my back. Imagine being there with the love of your life. That would be a day to remember.
Death Cab has always been, and will always be, awesome. Transatlanticism, We Have The Facts, and Narrow Stairs are all proof of this.
They just have missteps. (like that song from New Moon.)
A couple of the Plans songs didn't go anywhere either, although as a whole I loved that record.
Every. Last. Album. Has something amazing on it. Something About Airplanes had President Of What? and Champagne From A Paper Cup, The Photo Album had about half of the album (specifically Styrofoam Plates and Movie Script Ending), and Plans had Summer Skin and Marching Bands of Manhattan. And even the lame duck songs aren't BAD, they're just not Passenger Seat or A Lack Of Color.
And don't EVEN get me started on Give Up. Anyone can say what the hell they want about Gibbard as a musician, and Death Cab as a band, but the fact of the matter is, he's one of the best wordsmiths we have anymore. I've been listening since Transatlanticism came out, and since then, I've gone back and forwards in timeline, and have yet to find a single flaw, save for a couple not-as-good songs here and there (I Will Follow You Into The Dark got there for me).