I am thinking it's a sign....
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 09/21/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Postal Service had an unusual start. No, not THAT postal service, but the unique band behind one of the best albums of 2003, the indie-electronic "Give Up." Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard and Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello exchanged tapes through the mail, sculpting the sweet, melancholy trip-hop masterpiece "Give Up".
It starts off on strong footing with the melancholy, angelic-voiced "District Sleeps Alone Tonight" with its solemn organ opener. The second song is even stronger -- the sparkling, upbeat "Such Great Heights," an adoring love song from a guy to his on-the-road girlfriend. "They will see us waving/from such great heights/come down now!/they'll say/but everything looks perfect from far away..."
With such a great opener, the rest of the album is almost garuanteed to be lackluster. But Gibbard and Tamborello manage to keep the quality up with the delicate "Sleeping In," ethereal "Nothing Better," and the dreamily majestic "Recycled Air" with its backdrop of string-like synth. "Give Up" ends on a slightly darker note with the dark, grittier "This Place is a Prison" and the fast-paced but strange "Brand New Colony," before finishing off with the magnificently cacophonous "Natural Anthem."
"Give Up" was originally recorded in a rather weird way, with Gibbard and Tamborello exchanging packages with recorded CDs inside. Not your typical way of making music, and some might have scoffed at this unorthodox method. But it pays off beautifully -- the melodious poppy sound of Postal Service is absolutely intoxicating. It's a perfect mix of beats, clicks, dreamy synth and sweet vocals. Gibbard's clear voice is a little sad, and contemplative, and is backed up in some songs by Jen Wood and Jenny Lewis.
The lyrics are beautiful, romantic and heartfelt ("I am finally seeing/why I was the one worth leaving..."), often evoking a slightly otherworldly feeling, not tied in with the world as we know it. It brings up dark cities, flying couples, gaudy apartments and places where things are sad and a little dreamy. The keyboard arrangements are shimmering, guitar riffs are steady and solid, and a cluster of other instruments (organ and horn) surface and vanish seamlessly.
"Give Up" both satisfies a musical hunger and leaves you wanting more. Proving that innovation is NOT dead in the music biz, the Postal Service is a fantastic breath of fresh air. Dreamy, a little depressed, but uplifting and sweet."
Postal Service - Music that should've topped the Boards
tim perez | Houston | 04/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is a collaboration of Artists from DNTEL and Death Cab For a Cutie... and together they created some of the best music this era has seen. If you are a fan of the 80's, emo, or indie or you are open to any kind of good music, one sampling of the album will catapult you into an addiction of these masterfully engineered tracks. The lyrics pull you into the broken heart of a man and the music will keep you coming back for more. The tracks contained in this CD are better than 98% of anything that the Mainstream VJ's and DJ's currently expose you too. Don't pass up this marvelous work of art. Its simply amazing"