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Benjamin Gibbard

Former Lives (Barsuk)

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Ben Gibbard is pretending his new LP does not reference his split from Zooey Deschanel, that it’s eight years’ worth of stray songs---and it does have that feel, with its mish-mash of styles ranging from a cappella to mariachi---but who else could he be singing “I just want you to understand/That love is only a type of greed/Of equal portions, want and need/And you cannot divorce the two” to? Regardless, Former Lives finds the middle ground between his home-recorded All Time Quarterback material and Plans-era Death Cab, making it a pleasant but inessential addition to Gibbard’s impressive catalogue.

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