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Thank You for Today Image
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69

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

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7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

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  • Summary: The ninth full-length studio release for the indie rock band was produced by Rich Costey.
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Top Track

Gold Rush
[Verse 1] (Gold rush) Digging for gold in my neighborhood (Gold rush) Where all the old buildings stood (Gold rush) And they keep digging it down and... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Aug 17, 2018
    81
    Another fine stop in Death Cab’s ongoing evolution.
  2. 80
    A benchmark DCFC record and, barring a surprise drop from The National, the most immersive alt-rock album you’ll hear all year.
  3. Aug 17, 2018
    80
    Thank You for Today marks the stirring opening of a new chapter in this band’s already storied history.
  4. Aug 10, 2018
    70
    Ultimately, Thank You for Today finds the Death Cab for Cutie of 2018 taking stock of their band, choosing to forge ahead by using the foundation of their back catalogue to harness their core identity and build upon it. The band's shared vision is clear, encapsulated in this collection of songs.
  5. Aug 17, 2018
    67
    “Summer Years” is the band’s earnest indie-rock sound distilled to its purest essence, and “When We Drive” is an elegiac look at long-term relationships through the metaphor of a road trip--but there’s no “Doors Unlocked And Open” or “Ghosts Of Beverly Drive” to shake things up. It’s another solid Death Cab For Cutie album, but it lacks vitality.
  6. Aug 20, 2018
    60
    Whilst adhering to a pretty well-worn formula with the usual rousing emotion ebbs and flows, Gibbard’s ability to paint such vivid imagery with his carefully considered approach to lyricism does warrant revisiting, despite some moments proving patchy than others.
  7. 42
    Thank You for Today is Death Cab for Cutie’s weakest album of the decade and either a transition towards something greater or the first harbinger of creative decline.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Aug 19, 2018
    8
    I wasn’t sure what to expect with this album, but I was immediately pleased. While still not their best work, Death Cab were able to exploreI wasn’t sure what to expect with this album, but I was immediately pleased. While still not their best work, Death Cab were able to explore new sounds quite successfully. The strongest tracks for me were Summer Years and Near/Far. Each of these tracks have fantastic and sometimes heart wrenching lyrics. Their weakest tracks, such as When We Drive, were not terrible, but just didn’t really do anything for me. Expand
  2. Aug 18, 2018
    8
    It has been three years since the last Death Cab for Cutie album. The 2015 Kintsugi was a transitional album for both Ben Gibbard and theIt has been three years since the last Death Cab for Cutie album. The 2015 Kintsugi was a transitional album for both Ben Gibbard and the band. For starters, it chronicled Gibbard’s recent breakup and move back to his home city (Seattle), but more importantly, it was the first album not produced by Chris Walla. Instead, the band looked outside to Rich Costey (Muse, Sigur Rós, Interpol…). The result was a less cohesive and slightly underwhelming collection of songs. Fans and critics agreed to give them a pass, but the expectations for Thank You for Today are higher than ever.

    Thank You for Today is Death Cab for Cutie’s ninth studio release, and the first featuring an expanded line up. Dave Depper and Zac Rae (touring members during the Kintsugi tour) were added as full members to replace Chris Walla. Both bring in a fresh perspective as well as a brand more collaborative work dynamic.

    Thank You for Today opens with “I Dreamt We Spoke Again,” a dreamy ambient-pop track that sets the tone for the entire album: ethereal melodies paired with contemplative lyrics.

    “Summer Years” starts with a jazzy drum beat, looping under Radiohead-esque arpeggios and Ben’s soft voice. The lyrics are simple and melancholic.

    “Gold Rush” was the album’s first single and stands out from the other tracks as possibly the most upbeat. The lyrics try to make sense of the changes brought forth by hyper-gentrification in Seattle. Interestingly enough, the single was released at the time as it was announced that one of Seattle’s most iconic and historic music venues would be sold to make way for condos — a change Gibbard is fighting (along with other musicians and local politicians). Musically, it’s Death Cab’s most experimental song within an album since “I Will Possess Your Heart,” as it’s the first to be based around a sample (Yoko Ono’s “Mind Train”).

    "Your Hurricane” and the next few songs pick up where Kintsugi left off. Thoughtful. Beautiful. But not as experimental as the first few tracks. “When We Drive” reminds me of Arcade Fire’s “Rebellion (Lies).” But that’s just me!

    After “Autumn Love,” the albums picks up the pace and returns to the ambient sounds of the first few songs before ending on a more sombre note with “60& Punk,” a piano ballad about an unnamed hero and friend of Gibbard who is struggling with burn out and addiction.

    It’s clear that Death Cab for Cutie was not afraid to push some sonic boundaries to mark the start of a new era for the band, honouring their rich 20-year history but strategically looking to the future by exploring unchartered themes and sounds. This album is no Transatlantisism, but will more than likely be embraced by the self-proclaimed "early Death Cab” fans and new fans alike. Critics may end up giving it lukewarm reviews, but at the end of the day, this is a band less interested with producing hits and more interested in embracing the luxury of being able to release music they enjoy making and playing live.
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  3. May 9, 2019
    8
    These guys have some good stuff in their catalog, so always approach a new album with trepidation, but I love Thank You For Today. It's beenThese guys have some good stuff in their catalog, so always approach a new album with trepidation, but I love Thank You For Today. It's been out for 10 months and it's still in my heavy rotation. Whatever, music is personal, but this is solid from start to finish. One of my all time favorites. Expand
  4. Feb 10, 2019
    7
    On "Thank You for Today", Death Cab takes the ideas of aging, change, and the monotony of a life of fame and use them as artistic focalOn "Thank You for Today", Death Cab takes the ideas of aging, change, and the monotony of a life of fame and use them as artistic focal points. Lyrically, musically, and thematically, "Thank You For Today" is a unified body of work. Time, change, and movement are central to defining the album; track titles like "Near/Far" and "60 & Punk" embody a juxtaposition of these themes. Even as we struggle with this change and impermanence though, DCfC ultimately intimates that we should appreciate each day as unique and irreplaceable.

    I think this is the strongest DCfC release since "Narrow Stairs". While I don't think Death Cab can ever again truly match the sonic perfection of their early work, I am content to realise that they can continue to evolve in their own unique way.
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  5. Nov 6, 2018
    7
    The review above this one is sweet and sentimental, but it isn't terribly realistic. Calling Thank You For Today a 5-star album would be an aThe review above this one is sweet and sentimental, but it isn't terribly realistic. Calling Thank You For Today a 5-star album would be an a slightly ridiculous statement, and I'm going to try to break down why. First, the good. I have listened to this album many times, and I'm serious when I say that I think every song is either good or great. I think every song sounds good, from the repetitive "Gold Rush" to the sparkly "Lights," to the slow, somber closer. The music throughout the album sounds pretty good, going fast or slow. The lyrics are also pretty solid, ranging from heart-hurt - "Hurricane" - to upbeat and love-loving - "Love, and "Lights." No matter what topic Benjamin Gibbard touches on, he brings some wisdom and sense to the table, along with a good dose of heart.

    What keeps this record from greatness is it's almost-always present sense of safeness. The music on this record rarely ever takes risks or gets very ambitious or bold; it falls into the category of safe, risk-free Alt-rock. Two songs on this album break through the harmful feeling of lukewarmness and the lack of ambition; "When We Drive" and "60 & Punk." The earlier has great music and really special lyrics about being in a long-term relationship, and the latter hits hard with it's simple-yet-profound piano music and Ben's great singing and lyrics. The rest of the songs just sound way too safe, too unambitious.

    Besides Thank You For Today's lack of ambition, it's a pretty good record. It has solid music, lyrics, and an on-point vocal performance from Gibbard. So far, it's my least-favorite Death Cab album, but it's still pretty solid. It's a 7.5.
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  6. Sep 6, 2018
    5
    Bands and artists should usually evolve their sound and style over time. It's only a natural progression in order to evolve as an artist, toBands and artists should usually evolve their sound and style over time. It's only a natural progression in order to evolve as an artist, to not only stay relevant but fresh and full of great ideas. No one can pull of the AC/DC shtick. So when I say I was disappointed by this album, it is not because Death Cab changed their sound. I'm saying that Death Cab is growing into a staler, blander indie rock band. I might not have become a fan around the glory days of Transatlanticism, but for a band who were one of the most unique bands of the 2000s to get mainstream crossover attention to becoming what feels like passionless mush, it's a real tragedy.

    While the melodies are pretty, with the exception of lead off single Gold Rush which is just a clunker, hardly any of them stick in the brain. They all exist as background music for shopping at a Kohl's or drinking coffee at a Starbucks. There's no warmth or passion, just gloss without any substance. It's the Tums of indie rock albums. And what is the most damning is that I never gotten a sense that this is Death Cab but more of a side project Ben Gibbard has to pass the time between Death Cab albums and being a real tease about releasing another Postal Service record. Which is the same thing i can say about Kinsugi, but at least there were standout moments on that record. Here only like four songs here are pretty good to listen to, like Summer Years (the most Death Cab-like song here), When We Drive, and You Moved Away. But honestly ever since Codes and Keys, Ben hasn't recaptured the spark from Plans or Trans. The lyrics might suggest a mature songwriter, but instead we're getting a man losing touch with what made him a gifted artist in the first place.
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