Former Lives - Benjamin Gibbard
Former Lives Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: The debut solo release for the Death Cab For Cutie singer under his name (he released a solo album under the name All-Time Quarterback! in 1999) features a duet with Aimee Mann.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Comprised of many songs he has tucked away for years, the album is everything one might expect from a Gibbard solo album: daring, delicate, verbose and indelible.
  2. Oct 26, 2012
    80
    His first solo outing has enabled Ben Gibbard to try on new stylistic contexts as if they were outfits. [Dec 2012, p.71]
  3. Dec 17, 2012
    80
    For those who have been along for the ride since the beginning this anthology is like unlocking a shiny, new bonus track for each of Gibbard's efforts since Something About Airplanes.
  4. Oct 12, 2012
    70
    It's simply a charming patchwork collection of songs from just shy of the last decade that never found a voice amongst the catalogue of Gibbard's other projects.
  5. Oct 16, 2012
    63
    Gibbard's songwriting holds up in the gently varied sonic settings here though nothing feels as immediate as his day job in Death Cab for Cutie.
  6. Oct 17, 2012
    60
    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.
  7. Oct 12, 2012
    50
    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.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 1 out of 1
  1. Oct 18, 2012
    3
    Pretty 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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