"When there's a burning in your heart," Ben Gibbard sings on his band's new single, "Let it grow, let it grow/Don't be alarmed." Death Cab for Cutie hasn't gone all soft rock on its fans, but "You Are a Tourist," an epic, starry-eyed rocker from the group's upcoming seventh album, "Codes and Keys," finds the band members at the height of their optimism. While "I Will Possess Your Heart," the lead single from Death Cab's 2008 disc "Narrow Stairs," was a brooding kraut-rock jam about a lovesick stalker, "Tourist" crackles with psychedelic sunshine. Strands of reversed noise bubble under drummer Jason McGerr's impeccable time-keeping, and an army of effects-smeared guitar overdubs wiggle together in an irresistible groove. The band has hinted that "Codes and Keys" will be a spacious, synth-minded affair, but "Tourist" is classic guitar-heavy Death Cab for Cutie-only more "glass half-full."
Death Cab For Cutie, "You Are a Tourist"
- Album Review