The recently single Death Cab for Cutie frontman (he split from wife Zooey Deschanel last year) sheds his band to work out some ideas that’ve been rattling around in his head for years. That makes for a sometimes disjointed album, encompassing everything from Western twang to mariachi horns to Aimee Mann duets, but Gibbard has put his stamp on it all. His earnest songwriting — ”a bird with a broken wing,” ”the five-alarm fire that rages inside my heart,” etc. — still skews saccharine, but more often than not, Former Lives is lovely. B+
'LIVES' GO ON Gibbard's heartbreak doesn't take center stage, but his solo album is nevertheless lovely to the bone (Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Genre: Indie Rock; Lead Performer: Benjamin Gibbard; Music Label: Barsuk
Posted January 17 2015 — 5:04 PM EST
- 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' earns $187.7M at weekend box office, second-best U.S. debut ever
- Spice Girls reunite at David Beckham's birthday
- 'Dances With Wolves' writer Michael Blake dies
- Jamie Foxx's National Anthem at Mayweather-Pacquiao fight: You be the judge
- 'Orphan Black' bosses on 'an interesting revelation for us'
- 'SNL': How'd Scarlett Johansson and Wiz Khalifa do?
- 'Scandal' panel: 5 best moments, season finale teases
- 'Pitch Perfect 2' costume designer's fashion notes
- Mourning after: Best TV episodes after a key character died
- NSYNC hair, revisited on 'It's Gonna Be May' meme day
- 'Outlander' sweats details so Lallybroch feels like home
- 'Grey's Anatomy': How 10 characters/actors exited the show
- Kerry Washington, Plus Gwen Stefani, the Spelling-McDermott Family & More!