Oh, Ben Gibbard. You with your squished-balls reedy warble and romantically pithy heart-on-sleeve lyrics that send all the ladies (and Seth Cohen) into a tizzy. I know hardcore Death Cab fans are probably all like, "Sellout!" cuz you guys have left wee Barsuk for Warner's mega-powered embrace, but Plans sticks pretty close to the DCFC formula. Once again you trot out emo-schmaltz narratives about missing chicks and being afraid of dying, and your buddy Chris Walla adds in watercolour washes of twinkly guitars and keyboards. The touchy-feely bits on Soul Meets Body (hi, dorky song title?) are cringe-inducing, though you make up for it with a Pet Shop Boys-lite arrangement and the jauntiest beats on the album. I did get tired of hearing you sing the same vocal melody on every track, and it sucks that there's nothing nearly as anthemic as the stuff on Transatlanticism, but it's still very pretty, totally inoffensive and literary enough to impress the smart chicks who aren't too concerned with critical thought.