The Postal Service
Give Up


4.5
superb

Review

by Knott- EMERITUS
January 13th, 2011 | 249 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A fluid and hugely poignant hybrid of the warm and the mechanical.

The clicks and beeps of electronic music are in most instances detached from the sort of emotional outpouring with which Ben Gibbard concerns himself as frontman of indie-pop showstoppers Death Cab for Cutie, so when he announced he was recording with producer Dntel, famed for that exact brand of computerised atmosphere, heads were bound to turn. But any fears that Gibbard would be swallowed beneath the static and recurring beats prove at best unfounded, at worst disingenuous, for what Give Up evidences is that truly talented songwriters can stamp their authority on even the most unexpected of musical niches.

Far from a re-alignment of Gibbard's vocal and lyrical sensibilities to suit the genre, his collaboration with Dntel as The Postal Service sees him effortlessly translate those soundscapes and techniques into the same heartfelt and gorgeous songs that he writes with his full-time band. He holds the same cutting observational streak, the same ability to convey moods and mindsets; he's, incredibly, largely unmoved by the walls of binary that surround him. Defiant in his romanticism on mega-hit 'Such Great Heights' and his anti-romanticism on 'Nothing Better,' relatable in his idealism on 'Clark Gable' and his defeatism on 'This Place Is A Prison.'

Clearly, though, the end product is not a Death Cab for Cutie record, however much Gibbard maintains his pensive tack - in fact, the result is something considerably unique. Dntel's appreciation of the tone of Gibbard's songwriting is amply evident in the piano flourishes of a cute song like 'Such Great Heights' and the Radiohead-like screeches in a song as difficult and ambiguous as 'Natural Anthem.' Nothing about Give Up is homogenous, and the diversity owes easily as much to Dntel's varied and befitting moulds as Gibbard's inherent fluidity as a writer.

The Postal Service's Give Up is a warm project, a welcoming front door into the world of electronic music for those more accustomed to acute displays of emotion, and an album which fantastically blends two contrasting sounds to incredible effect. Gibbard would return to work with Death Cab, sneaking back to this area of the musical spectrum only for singles and to record the superb 'Couches In Alleys' with Styrofoam, and Dntel would fall back into his own projects, but Give Up remains a monument to the capacity for brief but dynamic collaborations to make a mark on the landscape.



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user ratings (1184)
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
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Such Great Heights

Comments:Add a Comment 
Knott-
Emeritus
January 14th 2011


10230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

whatever

wyankeif1337
January 14th 2011


6739 Comments


excellent review, have a pos.

climactic
January 14th 2011


22516 Comments


brand new colony is so fucking good

kanecooper
January 14th 2011


630 Comments


strikey : (

Irving
Emeritus
January 14th 2011


7500 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pos. Great review, as always. Need more be said?



You rock Knott.

Knott-
Emeritus
January 14th 2011


10230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah cheers



album title is ironic



sup kane

Irving
Emeritus
January 14th 2011


7500 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

album title is ironic


Figured =(

Slum
January 14th 2011


2580 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album feels so nostalgic to me even though I heard it pretty recently if that makes sense. Clark Gable might be my favorite

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2011


32292 Comments


Oh Strikey

dong chavez
January 14th 2011


206 Comments


i used to listen to this a lot more often when i was younger

Knott-
Emeritus
January 14th 2011


10230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Used to be my screenname on here before I changed it to Knott-, Xeno.



Oh, Dev.

thebhoy
Emeritus
January 14th 2011


4463 Comments


Xenophanes being new again itt

Irving
Emeritus
January 14th 2011


7500 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Damn n00b!



(says the guy who's only been here four months)

WeepingBanana
January 14th 2011


10561 Comments


i'm gonna pos this while i still can

Satellite
January 14th 2011


26080 Comments


i hope the title of the album you just reviewed isn't an omen, knott!!

seriously, you're one of the best reviewers here and will definitely achieve staff status eventually if there's any justice on this site. keep 'em coming.

(note: didn't read the thread prior to posting that)

Digging: Jeff Rosenstock - NO DREAM

Knott-
Emeritus
January 14th 2011


10230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

idk

klap
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2011


12302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

MJ what's your feelings on dance music/house/etc

bab808
January 14th 2011


456 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

been listening to this a lot lately

Knott-
Emeritus
January 14th 2011


10230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

cos its oreeeeeeeesome

tapitforever
January 14th 2011


1243 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

inhaling thrills through twenty dollar bills~~



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