Former Lives 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… Former Lives 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… 2012-10-16 Benjamin Gibbard Indie Rock Barsuk
Music Review

Former Lives (2012)

'LIVES' GO ON Gibbard's heartbreak doesn't take center stage, but his solo album is nevertheless lovely to the bone
Image credit: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
'LIVES' GO ON Gibbard's heartbreak doesn't take center stage, but his solo album is nevertheless lovely to the bone
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Oct 16, 2012; Lead Performance: Benjamin Gibbard; Genre: Indie Rock; Production: Barsuk

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
Originally posted Oct 03, 2012 Published in issue #1228-1229 Oct 12, 2012 Order article reprints