Codes and Keys - Death Cab for Cutie
Codes and Keys Image
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 100
    It's a reminder to the rest of the pretty-rock community that loveliness is worthless if there's no heart behind it, and Death Cab's beats stronger than most.
  2. May 27, 2011
    80
    As such it is an understated and subtlety magnificent pleasure.
  3. Jun 7, 2011
    80
    Perhaps Codes And Keys's seemingly illogical sequencing of songs makes sense if they wish to lure their audience into thinking it's as-you-were. But it's not: things are different and better. [July 2011, p. 110]
  4. May 24, 2011
    70
    The positivity is hardly worry-free, and the arrangements, shaped by My Bloody Valentine mixologist Alan Moulder, add disorienting details (the dubby ghost vocals on "Doors Unlocked and Open") for those listening closely. But at core, these are resplendent songs, the sound of a sad-sack acquiescing that life might be pretty awesome after all.
  5. Jun 1, 2011
    70
    Perhaps the charm of Codes and Keys stems from the clever recycling of tropes-both musical and thematic.
  6. Jun 2, 2011
    60
    Unfortunately, not everything works quite as well [as the opening and final tracks]. [21 May 2011, p.51]
  7. Jun 1, 2011
    40
    It's a hard pill to swallow, but the truth is this: Codes & Keys is the worst album of their career.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Jun 2, 2011
    10
    This album is officially one of my favorite albums of the year and it is easily the best album death cab has put out since Trans. This writing is spot on, the instrumentation is crisp and Ben Gibbard's voice shines. This is a big step in the right direction after taking a couple steps backwards with narrow stairs. I highly recommend this album. Expand
  2. Aug 16, 2011
    10
    After listening many, many times I have come to realise that this album is an absolute delight to listen to. Ben Gibbard has done it once again with his superb lyrics, and deep song-writing. I will go as far as saying that it's possibly their best album yet, and certainly their best album since Transatlanticism. What amazes me about this band is that they continue to be innovate: this album differs entirely to Narrow Stairs, Plans and Transatlanticism, and it has turned out to be remarkable. They may end up being remembered for this album. I am shocked that it was not received as well as it should have been by critics. Songs such "Some Boys", "You Are a Tourist" and "Doors Unlocked and Open" really do stand out on this record, as always, Gibbard choosing to end the album with a beautiful song "Stay Young, Go Dancing".. this is a sign of the wonderful talents still to come from this band. It's often a hard thing to create consistent albums, but Death Cab For Cutie have done it once again. This album is no exception from that. Expand
  3. Oct 31, 2011
    9
    The major departure for Seattle Alt. rockers might be surprising for previous fans, but it is an agreeable opinion that the album is a great one. The softcore rock can appeal to most everyone, the love baldas well done with unique ways of creating sounds. Especially on tracks like "Codes and Keys" and "Home is a Fire", where sounds like toy keyboards and echoey voices play up the emotionally charged lyrics. It's a well done and heartfelt album that is as powerful as it is catchy, something that can't be said for most. Expand
  4. Aug 19, 2012
    8
    This is a great record. It's the most complete Death Cab album to date. By most complete album, I mean everyone in the band has matured and it shows on this record. Each track is perfectly layered with Ben Gibbard's vocals, Chris Walla's sweeping piano, and the best drumming I've heard in a Death Cab record. The opener "Home Is A Fire" is the only track I find really unlistenable, but other than that one song, The other tracks are great. All In All, Death Cab For Cutie have a complete sound now. Anticipating their next release. B+ Expand
  5. Jun 9, 2011
    8
    A little better than Narrow Stairs; nowhere near as incredible as "Plans" ore "Transatlanticism" Has a better second half than a first. Sycamore, Dancing, Doors and Tourist are must-haves. Expand
  6. Dec 15, 2012
    7
    Codes and Keys is good it's just not as unique of a sound as Death Cab for Cutie has had on other albums. It's songs definitely run together. It's just not as good as the earlier albums. It's nice to listen to but every time I listen to it I think of how much better Transatlanticism, Plans and Narrow Stairs were. Expand
  7. Sep 17, 2011
    4
    Death Cab For Cutie's "evolution" has merely consisted of depression and angst turned joy and fairy dust. It's kind of annoying, and while the angst in their early records was still accompanied by a certain happiness and escapism, it also entailed the exploration of human emotion that could only be expressed through music. "Codes and Keys" is the same song on every track, the same emotion, the same little trick that needs a shake-up from repetition. Expand

See all 16 User Reviews

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