I picked up Murder By Death's new album a couple weeks ago, and I've been listening to it constantly since I got home that night.
Overall, the tone of the album is dark and moody. Each song tells a story, and each story illuminates a dark alley in a seedy neighborhood, somehow without adding any light.
To me, the stories seem to be there solely to provide a context for an examination of the human element. The genius of this album is that it gives the listener the ability to relate fully with the people being examined. The magic of this album is that those people are in the process of accepting their death in a mine collapse, or breaking out of prison, or waiting for their own execution - things with which most of us presumably don't have a lot of experience.
I could go into a song by song description here, but really, all you need to know is that this may very well be the best album released this year, so just go buy the damn thing.
MySpace Page (w/ 2 full-length sample tracks)
Amazon (w/ clips of all songs)