Lost At Sea
Champion Of The Arts, 2008
REVIEW BY: Melanie Love
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/10/2008
When I popped in this disc, the full-length debut from
If it’s the Death Cab card that pulled me in, it’s the lyrics that kept me there. At once sharply wrought and sometimes surreal, for the most part the songs here have the depth and range of a band with twice Exceptional Edward’s longevity (the group released a self-produced EP in 2006 before this disc).
Opener “Change My Mind” is simple yet evocative, launching out with an
Next up “Places And Faces” feels too vague after the imagery of the opener, and the track doesn’t really go anywhere despite a nice, nimble guitar interlude from Dan Gillis. Still, it’s a pretty unsatisfying lead-in to one of Lost At Sea’s standouts, “The Sea Captain.” Starting out with a guitar line that’s simultaneously jittery and almost hypnotic, this track is a little ominous, strangely catchy, and altogether excellent. Turner’s deeper, more confident vocals and the seamless transition from the brooding intro that tells the story of a lonely, aimless sea captain following the stars to a driving, powerful anthem. “I have to keep this ship afloat,” Turner proclaims against a backdrop of chugging drums and blossoming melodies, and it’s stunning and resilient -- check this out, if nothing else.
Single “Never Come Down” is a more toned-down, thoughtful affair, just light guitars and delicate accompanying piano on this no-frills, crisply-told tale of glamorous circus life with the achingly bare refrain, “But I’ll never come down.” It’s tough to say it’s representative of the Exceptional Edward sound, since “Good People” suddenly has vintage Oasis written all over it, with big, ringing guitars and Brian Gillis pounding away on the drums (although I’m pretty sure Oasis never penned this sensitive an anthem about lepers and searching desperately for a savior.)
From West Coast disillusion that swiftly morphs into a gorgeous, honest ballad about a not-right love (“All we do is drink our dreams…I see each day fading into another / Sorry I can’t give you more”) on “About A Boy” to the sunny rhythms and hopeful sentiment of “Goodbye” to the double-punch of full, soaring vocals and guitars on “A Night Like This” and “Home,” it’s tough to find a track on Lost At Sea that isn’t, well, exceptional. I’m only a few listens in to this disc and I’m already blown away. This is what Death Cab’s last album should have sounded like, but since they missed the boat it seems time to hand the wheel over to Exceptional Edward, who have managed to find their way beautifully in this Sea.