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Give Up

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Give Up album cover
01
The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
4:44  
02
Such Great Heights
4:26  
03
Sleepin In
4:21  
04
Nothing Better
3:47  
05
Recycled Air
4:30  
06
Clark Gable
4:55  
07
We Will Become Silhouettes
5:01  
08
This Place Is A Prison
3:54  
09
Brand New Colony
4:13  
10
Natural Anthem
5:08  
Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 10   Total Length: 44:59

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Wondering Sound

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Douglas Wolk

Contributor

Douglas Wolk writes about pop music and comic books for Time, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Wired and elsewhere. He's the author of Reading Comics: How Gra...more »

03.15.10
The Postal Service, Give Up
2003 | Label: Sub Pop / PIAS Digital

The second-best-selling Sub Pop album ever was practically a fluke — a casual, one-off 2003 collaboration by Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard and Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello, mostly constructed by sending tapes back and forth in the mail (hence the band's name). As it happened, the emo frontman and the experimental-electronic knob-tweaker added up to the most interesting new synth-pop band in a couple of decades: Gibbard's heart-on-sleeve lyrics and singing became refreshing and… read more »

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eMusic Features

0

Six Degrees of The Postal Service’s Give Up

By Jon Dolan, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

0

Six Degrees of The Postal Service’s Give Up

By Jon Dolan, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

They Say All Music Guide

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 work. The crunchy, distorted beats and sparkling synths recall both This Is the Dream of Evan and Chan and Björk’s recent 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. – Heather Phares

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