May 19, 2008 12:00 PM

Narrow Stairs |


The ghost of Joy Division seems to have inhabited Death Cab for Cutie on “I Will Possess Your Heart,” the haunting highlight of their new album. Over a goth groove that stretches out to eight-plus minutes, lead singer Ben Gibbard sounds almost demonic, warning, “You reject my advances and desperate pleas/ I won’t let you let me down so easily.” There are plenty of other shades of black on Narrow Stairs, from “No Sunlight,” which sets its bleak lyric against a relentlessly peppy beat, to the self-loathing “You Can Do Better Than Me.”

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