The Postal Service
Give Up


3.5
great

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
October 6th, 2005 | 85 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


After stunning audiences with a collaboration track on Dntel's Life Is Full of Possibilities, electronic genius Jimmy Tamborello (of Dntel and Figurine) and indie rock hero Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab For Cutie) unveiled their side project collaboration, The Postal Service.


The Postal Service
Ben Gibbard - Vocals, Guitar
Jimmy Tamborello - Electronics

In electronic music, it's often the most subtle things that make the biggest difference. The Postal Service is an interesting combination of electronic sounds and instrumentation and the emotion and natural ideas of indie rock. While Give Up is not a strictly innovative record, it certainly is unique. Gibbard's contribution to the record is mainly limited to his signature vocals with a few small guitar riffs on a couple of songs. Despite this, it is obvious that the songs are written to suit his indie stylings. Though the two band members come from two slightly different worlds, they gel together as if they have working together since childhood. Fans who heard Dntel's "This Is The Dream of Evan and Chan" may have been expecting more of the same. While the music of Give Up recalls the sound that the pair made for "This Is The Dream of Evan and Chan", it has a decidedly different feel. The sound is essentially an indie pop sound fairly similar (but not remotely identical) to that of Death Cab For Cutie with entirely electronic instrumentation. The exceptional electronic percussion recalls Kraftwerk and numerous 80s synth pop groups, but the electronic beeps and melodies display a far more contemporary feel.

The good news for fans of "This Is The Dream of Evan and Chan" is that Give Up is an incredibly good record, with some of the best songs that either band member has ever produced. The unfortunate bad news is that the album seems slightly rushed in parts. Of it's 10 tracks, a great majority of them are brilliant. However, when the songs aren't great, the fall at the feet of mediocrity. This is, of course, the exception and not the rule with Give Up, but the fact remains that Give Up is not perfect. Gibbard's lyrics, while fitting the music extremely well, seem slightly rushed and certainly not at the standard of his work in Death Cab For Cutie. Tracks such as "Sleeping In" are prime examples. Gibbard's vocal performance works for all moods presented on the album and the pairing of his voice with electronics is well done. The electronic melodies with synths, beeps, keyboards and whatever else are extremely catchy and pretty. "Such Great Heights" features cool electronic effects paired with beautiful electronic melodies and crisp drum loops. The female backing vocals, while used sparingly are brilliant when put to use. Not overused or underused, they seem to know when to come in at exactly the right moment. As an album, Give Up may not eclipse either of the members' full time projects. However, most of the songs on the record are some of the best ever written by either member. Certainly one of the best releases of 2003, many fans will find the sound of Give Up preferable to Dntel or Death Cab For Cutie, even if the songwriting isn't quite on the same level.

Pros
Incredible sound, great chemistry between Gibbard and Tamborello
Excellent songwriting
Beautiful melodies, catchy synths and cool drum loops

Cons
Seems rushed at times
A couple of dud tracks

Reccomended Tracks
The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
Such Great Heights
This Place Is A Prison

FINAL RATING: 3.5/5



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user ratings (873)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
related reviews

Such Great Heights

Comments:Add a Comment 
morrissey
Moderator
October 6th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm beyond sick of this record after hearing it so many times, especially "Such Great Heights". But I concede it is a nice record, nothing phenomenal, but I loved it for a while.

Nice review.

edit: the 3 is based on the "new" rating system, where 2.5 is average.This Message Edited On 10.06.05

woofwoofwoof
October 6th 2005


156 Comments


wait.. this hasn't been reviewed yet?

Jawaharal
October 6th 2005


1832 Comments


Such great heights on here pwns the iron and wine version.

good review too

br3ad_man
Emeritus
October 6th 2005


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wait.. this hasn't been reviewed yet?


I thought so too but I searched and couldn't see any trace of a review.

Fabz
October 6th 2005


136 Comments


My older brother have this album, I've listen to a couple of songs on it and I would say it sound like a good album.

Zebra
Moderator
October 6th 2005


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Decent review, I bought this cd and was upset. I think that the Postal Service is really overated, I just don't see anything really special about them when I listen to there music.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
October 7th 2005


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh, by the way, my 3.5 means that this is a great album.

tommychong
January 24th 2006


4 Comments


my favorite song on this album has to be brand new colony. it is a great song and although it songs like a mario game, it is kinda catchy.This Message Edited On 01.24.06

FistfulOfSteel
March 9th 2006


894 Comments


I've heard people call this Nintendo-core... lawl?
A decent cd nonetheless. Such Great Heights is a classic. We Will Become Silhouettes is well done also. Good effort.

The Jungler
March 9th 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nintendo-Core is an awesome genre name.

As this is an awesome CD.

weerez1391
April 7th 2006


89 Comments


Horse The Band is what I would call Nintendo-Core. Hardcore+Nintendo= XNintendocoreX

Simon Kent
April 14th 2006


58 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

well all i can say is that this cd is better than anything death cab for cutie has ever done


Legendary1
April 22nd 2006


10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love how unique this record is and how well written it was, great melodys and sounds from Jimmy and great lyrics from Ben Gibbard

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 22nd 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Is "Such Great Heights" the song on the trippy M and M commercial? 'Cause if it was I liked it.

Legendary1
April 22nd 2006


10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah lol thats the one...except that was the acoustic version whic was done by Iron and Wine

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 24th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hmm... I would like to hear both versions. Ironically enough, the first time I saw that commercial was under the influence of a certain mind-altering drug, which only increased the awesomeness.

ChairMaker
April 26th 2006


23 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I recently bought "we will become silouettes" just to sample some of their stuff, i must say it was very unique but not really something that i loved. A good listen none the less and nice review!

mx
Moderator
April 27th 2006


733 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You should have bought Brand New Colony, it's the best song on there

Landstander-22
May 1st 2006


7 Comments


Nintendocore is a sweet style. This isn't nearly fast enough.

(Good CD)

ChairMaker
June 4th 2006


23 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

just bought the "we will become silouettes" EP and loved it so i picked up this album too. prolly not eveyone's thing but fans of Death Cab and/or electronica will welcome this as an exellent addition to their collection



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