Entering an age of younger, more vulnerable templates for what the kids these days call "alternative rock" means the old juggernauts don't really fit the mold of youthful progression. But what does that mean for a well-established band like Death Cab For Cutie? At this stage, Ben Gibbard and his wordy band are settled into their styles; the ones that first found cement on 2005's Plans
or 2003's Transatlanticism
, depending on your point of view. There is nothing mysterious about Codes and Keys
, save for how Gibbard continues to sound so adolescent despite years of success and marriage to one of indie rock's most sought-after dreamboats. At least he isn't pretending with his lyrics.