Death Cab For Cutie ‘Million Dollar Loan’ Song Review

Well this is a controversial track to put out in the current climate isn’t it? Being an adolescent British musician myself, I can say that American politics really doesn’t interest me all too much. I prefer to look at the funnier side of things in a balanced way, rather than get worked up about a political battle that has nothing to do with me (unless crap really does hit the fan after the election then we’re all boned). So when one of my all-time favourite groups released a new track labelled ‘Million Dollar Loan’, I immediately couldn’t help but laugh. Although I’m not a huge fan of extreme political agenda’s being worked into songs, I’m always all ears to hearing what is produced in the end whether it be thought provoking or mind-numbing. So let’s cut the chit-chat and review this bad boy so beautifully named ‘Million Dollar Loan’.

It is, in all senses of the word, hilariously good. Just hearing the name ‘Death Cab For Cutie’, you can already guess that the track will have gorgeous instrumentals and brilliant lyrics; in this track that reputation stands stronger than ever. Now whether you’re a Clinton fan or a Trump supporter, you can’t help but chuckle at some of the phrases left in this song (if you watch the music video, the laughs will be even harder). In a way though, this song is more substantial than just a couple laughs, it’s actually a great satire for Death Cab For Cutie’s own music. Their music has always been incredibly narrative orientated, with songs about love, the afterlife, supporting each other and all that great stuff. The narrative of this track however is much more quirky about a dictatorial type of leadership and how someone can be unsupportive of others and still make it in life (with a ‘Million Dollar Loan’ mind you). Its hysterically clever as the track never stoops to insulting or to cliche name-calling; it has an aura of sophistication. The instrumentation firstly, is masterfully arranged. The drums beat away this Latin style beat in the verses, then returning to a common time sequence in the chorus to allow the bolstering of significant sections. The ‘roads’ style keyboard chordal progression is gentle yet ambiguous sounding mysterious and interesting. The acoustic guitar inclusion sounded dazzlingly good later on in the track due it’s rich tone in the mix and the imaginative finger picking that accompanied the movement.  My only flaws here happen to be production wise as the drums never really felt that high quality in terms of their projection. When the beat became electronic it felt slightly distorted and when the beat stayed acoustic it sounded really quite rough. Vocally the track was of course excellent as Ben Gibbard has one of the best voices in acoustic music today; what else did you expect? The vocal tracking was also very well done being by far one of the best mixed vocal recordings I’ve heard this month. I think I’ve said enough about the lyrics already, you already know their great and instead of me picking them apart, I implore you to listen to the track and take them in as they come.

8/10 – A huge surprise and one of those good surprises that you just weren’t expecting too.


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