• Record Label: Barsuk
  • Release Date: Oct 9, 2001
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 36 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 36
  2. Negative: 4 out of 36

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  1. RonanH
    Apr 18, 2005
    10
    Full of irresistable songs, The Photo Album is he best Death Cab For Cutie album. Even better than Transatlanticism, and that's saying something!
  2. CarrieF
    Feb 6, 2006
    9
    i never have to skip over songs or repeat them. this album is great to listen through from beginning to end
  3. cameronb
    Mar 3, 2006
    10
    this music is VERY excellent. i would ask everyone to at least give them a chance.
  4. rachelm
    Mar 3, 2006
    10
    very good music
  5. JoeM.
    Nov 6, 2001
    7
    Good, but not up to the standards of the previous two. This is an good album with a few great songs instead of a great album.
  6. AndersH.C.
    Apr 16, 2002
    8
    DCFC really pulled it off on this one. A nice layered release from the masters of indie-pop. And for once the production is good.
  7. JoshP
    Sep 29, 2005
    9
    Quite possibly my favorite Death Cab album. Chock full of emotional hi's and low's, this is definitely one of their best.
  8. NeilP
    Jan 14, 2006
    10
    This is the first great string of Death Cab For Cutie Albums, The album is amazing.
  9. SteveS
    Apr 21, 2007
    10
    amazing musiv
  10. 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,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
  11. 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.
  12. 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"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
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 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.
  2. Magnet
    80
    Everywhere you turn on Photo Album, [Ben] Gibbard is in transit, singing songs of traveling across America while his bandmates slowly perfect the post-punk melodies that snake their way through these crooked pop songs. It's a great pairing. [#52, p.82]
  3. Alternative Press
    80
    It's the skillful meshing of Benjamin Gibbard's part-stream-of-consciousness, part-confessional vocals with melancholy piano and achingly melodic guitars that reveal a fleshed-out Cutie are indeed a band of uncommon beauty. [Dec 2001, p.79]