"(This is) The Dream of Evan and Chan" was a popular single between a collaborative effort by Death Cab for Cuties Ben Gibbard and Dntels Jimmy Taborello. At the time, the collaboration seemed genius. Tamborellos impeccable production was the perfect compliment to Gibbards off tone, smooth styled voice. In late 2001, the two decided to start recording tracks together, and they did this by swapping CD-Rs via the US Postal Service, hence the name of their band. Unfortunately though, the CD as a whole, despite its tranquility, never really displays the true potential that was witnessed on "(This is) The Dream of Evan and Chan."
The leadoff track, "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" is filled with hiss laden sample strings and ethereal background vocals with a clean guitar riff. Do to its NSYNC tone at times ("Im thinking its a signalAnd when we kiss theyre perfectly aligned") "Such Great Heights" is to a great extent, or lack there of, "Teeny Bopish." "Sleeping In" is a peaceful acoustic guitar rendition that lullabies the mind with its melodic intoxication. "Nothing Better" is grand with its chunky monophonic Casio-sounding keys, and the pseudo horns of "Clark Gable" are mesmerizing.
Most of the songs are slow and peaceful renditions, but "Natural Anthem" is a good change. Adventurous in its nature, it is complete with a heavy break-beat and a sick drum loop.
Not a bad album, but a disappointing performance. After hearing their potential, on "(This is) The Dream of Evan and Chan" I expected more, especially from Gibbard. Though he brings the super elastic vocal tone, he never seems to pick up lyrically where he left off.