57. Death Cab for Cutie, 'Transatlanticism'
Released at the peak of their career as indie heavyweights, Death Cab for Cutie’s fourth album was their most aspirational yet, as the Seattle band stretched beyond angular, tightly wound jangle-pop to explore more nuanced tones and moods. Lush and bombastic (especially on "The New Year," "Transatlanticism" and "Tiny Vessels"), the album demonstrated multi-instrumentalist Chris Walla's growing prowess as a producer. But it was singer and guitarist Ben Gibbard's lyrics that made Transatlanticism their master work, as he distilled post-collegiate malaise, the feeling of distance from loved ones and apathy about romance into songs that peeled back the skin on the place – as mentioned in "Title And Registration," "where disappointment and regret collide."
• Rolling Stone's Original 2003 Review