Former Lives

  • Record Label: Barsuk
  • Release Date: Oct 16, 2012

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
Buy On
  1. 60
    Former Lives shares similarities with Gibbard's Postal Service work; elsewhere his scattershot stylistic approach weakens songs.
  2. Oct 17, 2012
    Former Lives also falls prey to typical solo album problems, like stylistic explorations that a band might correctly veto as ill-fitting throwaways... and songs too slight to appear on a major release.. Yet [other] songs hint at how good Former Lives could have been had Gibbard simply indulged his pop storyteller side.
  3. Oct 16, 2012
    For all his three relationships spanned and catchy tunes composed, Gibbard is too nice to dish it out, and too bland to reveal any meaningful lessons learned.
  4. Oct 15, 2012
    Even as he shifts from his typically elliptical songwriting to more structure-bound forms, he never sounds overly fussy. It makes Former Lives a brisk listen even when the songs themselves aren't particularly innovative.
  5. 60
    While the record doesn't completely clear the bar, all things considered, it doesn't fall too far short.
  6. Oct 16, 2012
    While still being firmly planted in the category of mainstream indie rock, the album is all over the place both thematically and musically.
  7. Nov 9, 2012
    While it's obviously been personally cathartic, you have to think that it's far from the best record Benjamin could have put out.
  8. Oct 16, 2012
    What's most frustrating about Former Lives is that for every single shining moment there are two or three that subsequently fall flat.
  9. Oct 12, 2012
    With all its clean-cut melodies and smirky introspection, even Death Cab fans might have a hard time finding Former Lives more than a collection of melancholy, whimsical tunes.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 1 out of 1
  1. Oct 18, 2012
    Pretty much every single song is mediocre on this album. They just are copies of other Death Cab For Cutie songs. Though, "Duncan, WherePretty much every single song is mediocre on this album. They just are copies of other Death Cab For Cutie songs. Though, "Duncan, Where Have You Gone?" copies of John Lennon.

    Good tracks:

    4. Bigger Than Love *****/*****
    8. Oh Woe ***/*****
    9. A Hard One to Know ****/*****
    10. Lady Adelaide ***/*****
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