Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Death Cab for Cutie: The Open Door [Atlantic EP, 2009]
Outtake EPs aren't normally where flawed talents come to fruition, and descriptions of one's inability to love aren't normally ruddier than the cherry and riper than the merry month of June. But though Ben Gibbard has self-lacerated before, here he actually seems to have something to get off his chest. Rock-or-die drums power the slow song as well as three atypically fast ones, and, after a Vegas-hookup prelude, Gibbard gets down to cases so unsparingly you'd think he was mad at himself. There's even a mirror metaphor you can look in the eye. A-