The Photo Album - Death Cab for Cutie
The Photo Album Image
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 32 Ratings

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  • Summary: This is the third album for the Washington-based indie rockers.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. If it's true that music of this nature doesn't get anymore heartfelt, it also rarely gets more infectious.
  2. While not every song is a gem, the ones that are have pushed the band's already high standard of compelling indie pop one notch higher.
  3. As intelligent, bittersweet, angular stuff, whether it’s alt.rock, guitar-pop, or even emo is immaterial. Labels be damned - just call it great music.
  4. The most noteworthy aspect of The Photo Album is the band’s upward trajectory. The music is cohesive and even, though still somewhat sluggish.
  5. The Photo Album is evidence of a band that's maturing, slowing down and trying new things.
  6. It's a rare talent that can express such emotions so concisely; even more rare is the ability to deliver them in a near-whisper rather than a scream.
  7. The admittedly catchy, three-chord pop structure isn't as effective as in previous DCFC releases--as a basic approach, it seems more thoughtless than deliberately anaesthetizing this time.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Jul 7, 2013
    10
    "We Have the Facts" is their best work, but this is definitely a close second. It starts out simply, with "Steadier Footing", one of the best opening tracks after "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" and "3rd Planet". Moving on to the middle, a lot of the songs sound the same, yet you can still tell them apart. The end gets a little flat, but "Blacking Out the Friction" is underrated. "Coney Island" would have made a better closing track than "Debate Exposes Doubt", however. Expand
  2. Dec 15, 2012
    7
    This album is good but it's hard to find a song on it that particularly stands out causing the songs to run together. It just doesn't have the variety that albums like Transatlanticism or Narrow Stairs have. This is an earlier album and you can tell. It's good but certainly not great. Expand
  3. Mar 22, 2013
    7
    This record was the first time I heard this band. First impressions were, these guys are Placebo-Lite crossed with a little bit of Mogwai, but that was a bit unfair and they have got their own identity going on. There are plenty of decent tunes on offer here and its only really the tail end of the record that lets it down a little bit. The more you listen, the more you get from the record, and in time, who knows, this might become an 8 record. Also, the bonus disk that comes with some version of this has an awesome, if unexpected version of Bjorks "All Is Full Of Love". Expand

See all 12 User Reviews