Kintsugi (album)

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Death Cab For Cutie - Kintsugi.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 31, 2015 (2015-03-31)
ProducerRich Costey
Death Cab for Cutie chronology
Codes and Keys
Thank You for Today
Singles from Kintsugi
  1. "Black Sun"
    Released: January 26, 2015
  2. "The Ghosts of Beverly Drive"
    Released: March 8, 2015
  3. "Good Help (Is So Hard to Find)"
    Released: April 8, 2016

Kintsugi is the eighth studio album by American indie rock band Death Cab for Cutie, released on March 31, 2015, on Atlantic Records. Recorded at Eldorado Recording Studios, in Burbank, California, Kintsugi is produced by Rich Costey, and is the first Death Cab for Cutie album to feature an outside producer. The album was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 58th Grammy Awards.[1]

During the production of the album, lead guitarist and founding member Chris Walla announced that he was leaving the band, though he continued contributing to the recording and creative process as a full member until the album's completion.[2]


The band first hinted that they were working on a follow-up to 2011's Codes and Keys by posting several photos of their studio and recording equipment to Instagram in October 2013.[3][4] In October 2014, the band spoke to Stereogum about their then-untitled eighth album, their experience working with an outside producer, and Walla's departure.[5]

The album title is derived from kintsugi, a type of Japanese art involving fixing broken pottery, and as a philosophy of treating breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.


The album's title, track listing, and artwork were revealed via social media on January 12, 2015, with the song "Black Sun" to be released as the lead single from the album.[6] The songs "Black Sun", "The Ghosts of Beverly Drive", and "No Room in Frame", received their live debut during a performance at The Crocodile in Seattle on January 20, 2015, two months prior to the album's release. Black Sun was officially released on January 26, 2015, following several weeks of snippets of lyrics being posted on various social media sites and the official website.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
The A.V. ClubB+[10]
Chicago Tribune[11]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[12]
The Guardian[13]
Rolling Stone[17]

Kintsugi has received mostly positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a rating determined by a "weighted average" of reviews from mainstream critics, the album received a score of 67 out of 100, based on 30 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[8]

In a three and a half out of five star review, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic claims: "Most of Kintsugi shimmers upon a gloss constructed out of new wave remnants and faded memories of yacht rock."[9] Writing for Consequence of Sound and giving the album a "C−" rating, Philip Cosores states: "There are moments of radio-ready bliss, a few songs with lyrics that slowly become affecting, a handful of forgettable diversions, and some expected trite, misguided nonsense."[19] Lanre Bakare of The Guardian gave the album three stars out of five and writes: "Sometimes it’s too overwrought and wanders into clichéd territory."[13] Writing for Exclaim!, James Smith felt that " a return to form for the band," citing an extra dimension added by blending "lush arrangements...with electronic flourishes" though "the band takes these new elements too far, with underwhelming results."[20]


Year Association Category Result
2016 Grammy Awards[1] Best Rock Album Nominated

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Benjamin Gibbard, except where noted.

1."No Room in Frame"Gibbard, Harmer4:05
2."Black Sun" 4:49
3."The Ghosts of Beverly Drive" 4:04
4."Little Wanderer" 4:19
5."You've Haunted Me All My Life" 4:08
6."Hold No Guns" 3:03
7."Everything's a Ceiling" 3:41
8."Good Help (Is So Hard to Find)" 4:47
9."El Dorado" 3:38
10."Ingénue"Gibbard, McGerr, Walla4:31
11."Binary Sea" 4:05
Total length:45:00


Credits adapted from AllMusic:[21]

Death Cab for Cutie


Commercial performance[edit]

Kintsugi debuted at No. 8 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 56,000 copies in its first week. It's the fourth Death Cab for Cutie album to enter the Billboard 200's top 10.[22] In Canada, the album debuted at No. 5 on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 4,800 copies.[23]


Release history[edit]


Region Date Format(s) Label
United States March 31, 2015 Atlantic


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  2. ^ Walla, Chris (Aug 13, 2014). "Why I'm Leaving Death Cab for Cutie". Retrieved Jan 17, 2015.
  3. ^ "Paintbrushes. #inthestudio #deathcab". Archived from the original on 2021-12-25. Retrieved Jan 17, 2015.
  4. ^ "#inthestudio #deathcab". Archived from the original on 2021-12-25. Retrieved Jan 17, 2015.
  5. ^ Rachel, T. Cole (Oct 23, 2014). "Q&A: Death Cab For Cutie Preview Their Final Album With Chris Walla". Retrieved Jan 17, 2015.
  6. ^ Montgomery, James (Jan 12, 2015). "Death Cab for Cutie Reveal Symbolic Title of 'Evocative' New Album". Retrieved Jan 17, 2015.
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  9. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Kintsugi – Death Cab for Cutie". AllMusic. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  10. ^ McCown, Alex (March 31, 2015). "Review: On Kintsugi, Death Cab For Cutie regains intimacy and embraces synth flourishes". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  11. ^ Kot, Greg (March 30, 2015). "Death Cab for Cutie finds austere beauty in a breakup". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  12. ^ Anderson, Kyle (April 3, 2015). "Death Cab for Cutie: Kintsugi". Entertainment Weekly: 61.
  13. ^ a b Bakare, Lanre (March 26, 2015). "Death Cab for Cutie: Kintsugi review – melancholy music for arenas". The Guardian. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  14. ^ "Death Cab for Cutie: Kintsugi". Mojo (257): 94. April 2015.
  15. ^ Cohen, Ian (April 2, 2015). "Death Cab for Cutie: Kintsugi". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  16. ^ Doyle, Tom (April 2015). "Middle Ranking". Q (345): 110.
  17. ^ Grow, Kory (March 31, 2015). "Kintsugi". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  18. ^ Brodsky, Rachel (April 3, 2015). "Review: Death Cab for Cutie Navigate Chilly Waters on 'Kintsugi'". Spin. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  19. ^ Cosores, Philip (March 27, 2015). "Death Cab for Cutie – Kintsugi". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  20. ^ Smith, James (April 2, 2015). "Death Cab For Cutie - Kintsugi". Exclaim!. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
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