You guys! ZOMG! Did you hear the news about Ben and Zooey? OK, OK, so it’s not exactly news anymore that Death Cab for Cutie frontman and 500 Days of Summer starlet Zooey Deschanel filed for divorce after their own 500 days (give or take) of marriage. According to my sources… A. That news broke in early November; B. It’s now the middle of December; and C. I’m a terrible celebrity gossip blogger. Regardless, it’s always sad when two seemingly nice people split up (apparently not too sad to use the whole incident for a blog post setup), leaving them to wonder what could have been, and what could have been done differently. Though there are seldom second chances in marriage, fortunately for Mr. Gibbard, there are second chances in music, as his band’s Keys and Codes Remix EP exemplifies so enjoyably. All the way back in October, when Ben and Zooey were still hitched and Death Cab for Cutie’s most recent full-length Codes and Keys was but a six-month-old bundle of joy, the group started releasing one remixed track every Monday, each featuring a different guest producer, leading up to the November 22 release of a 7-track remix album. From the beginning, I was a fan. I liked the marketing — the slow rollout built suspense, letting you hear one piece of the (CHEESY ALBUM CONCEPT METAPHOR ALERT) puzzle [groan] at a time. I liked the results — the tracks vary wildly but each one offers a fresh view on the source material. But more than anything else, I like this concept. Given how difficult it is these days to profit from record sales, I love that artists are taking control of the secondary consumption market by releasing their own remix albums. Radiohead did the same this year with TKOL RMX 1234567, the follow-up to King of Limbs, as did Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr with It’s A Corporate World’s companion Horse Power EP. Some might say that these groups should leave well enough alone and let their albums stand for themselves, and it’s true that not every single one of these remixed tracks has been a winner for me, but so many of them are winners, and I can’t help but enjoy having the opportunity to look at all of these songs in a different light, like I’m hearing them again for the first time. Listen to the Keys and Codes Remix EP for yourself to decide where you stand on the matter, and if you like what you hear, head over to iTunes to make it official.
Death Cab for Cutie — Keys and Codes Remix EP