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Give Up (Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition)

The Postal Service

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Album Review

Coming off their work on Dntel's beautiful This Is the Dream of Evan and Chan, Jimmy Tamborello and Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard team up again for their full-length debut as Postal Service, Give Up. Instead of covering that EP's territory again, with this album the duo crafts a poppier, new wave-inflected sound that recalls Tamborello's work with Figurine more than Dntel's lovely subtlety. However, Ben Gibbard's famously bittersweet vocals and sharp, sensitive lyrics imbue Give Up with more emotional heft than you might expect from a synth pop album, especially one by a side project from musicians as busy as Tamborello and Gibbard are. The album exploits the contrast between the cool, clean synths and Gibbard's all-too-human voice to poignant and playful effect, particularly on Give Up's first two tracks. "The District Sleeps Alone" bears Gibbard's trademark songwriting, augmented by glitchy electronics and sliced-and-diced strings, while "Such Great Heights"' pretty pop could easily appear on a Death Cab for Cutie album, minus a synth or two. Despite some nods to more contemporary electronic pop, Give Up's sound is based in classic new wave and synth pop, at times resembling an indie version of New Order or the Pet Shop Boys. Songs like "Nothing Better," a duet that plays like an update on Human League's "Don't You Want Me?," and the video-game brightness of "Brand New Colony" sound overtly like the '80s brought into the present, but the tinny, preset synth and drum sounds on the entire album recall that decade. Sometimes, as on "Recycled Air" and "We Will Become Silhouettes," the retro sounds become distracting, but for the most part they add to the album's playful charm. The spooky ballad "This Place Is a Prison" is perhaps the most modern-sounding track and the closest in sound and spirit to Gibbard and Tamborello's Dntel music. The crunchy, distorted beats and sparkling synths recall both This Is the Dream of Evan and Chan and Björk's work; indeed, this song, along with the "All Is Full of Love" cover Death Cab included on their Stability EP, could be seen as an ongoing tribute to her. Overall, Give Up is a fun diversion for Tamborello, Gibbard, and their fans. It doesn't scale the heights of either of their main projects, but it's far more consistent and enjoyable than might be expected. [The Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition was released with 15 bonus tracks, including the previously unreleased "A Tattered Line of String" and "Turn Around."]

Customer Reviews

"Everything looks perfect from far away."

Just look at this record, this is going to be great! I have faith that the unreleased Postal Service material is going to incredible. We're in dire need of non-autotune music, Ben and Jimmy - thanks for coming back. We missed you.

10 years later and better than ever

With two new songs sure to please new and old Postal Service fans, the remastered album is as catchy and relevant as it was ten years ago. The versatile music takes on a deeper tone than the groups original album 'Give Up,' and is better for it.

While, 'A Tattered Line of String,' is a pop melody that closely matches the tracks on the band's first album, 'Turn Around' is clearly an evolution of the band's lyrics. Easily one of the best song's on the album, 'Turn Around,' explores adult material that the bands previous light-pop tracks had yet to delve into. Like many of their fans, in the past ten years, the Postal Service has matured. With their new single they demonstrate a depth previously missed. It will easily leave you wanting more.

YESSSSS!!!!!:::DDDDDD

I love the postal service and so do you now buy this tune

Biography

Formed: 2001

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

Named for the courier service that allowed them to trade song ideas while living in different locales, the Postal Service were a short-lived supergroup featuring Jimmy Tamborello (leader of the electronica bands Dntel and Figurine) and Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard. Adding to the project's star status were Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis and former Tattle Tale member Jen Wood, both of whom contributed backing vocals to the band's mix of bubbling electronica and indie pop. Tamborello and Gibbard first...
Full Bio

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