Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Ray Rahman
October 19, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Former Lives

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Benjamin Gibbard
music label
82322
genre
Indie Rock

We gave it an B+

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+

Best Tracks:
Teardrop Windows
Bigger Than Love

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