Give Up [Deluxe]

Give Up [Deluxe]

by The Postal ServiceThe Postal Service


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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. [The Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition was released as a two-CD set that featured a disc of bonus tracks, including the previously unreleased "A Tattered Line of String" and "Turn Around."]

Product Details

Release Date: 04/09/2013
Label: Sub Pop
UPC: 0098787104523
catalogNumber: 71045
Rank: 49136

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Postal Service   Primary Artist
Jen Wood   Vocals,Background Vocals
Chris Walla   Piano
Ben Gibbard   Guitar,Drums,Keyboards,Electric Piano,Group Member
Jenny Lewis   Background Vocals
Jimmy Tamborello   Accordion,Keyboards,Group Member

Technical Credits

John Lennon   Composer
Michael Ivins   Composer
Wayne Coyne   Composer
Jeff Kleinsmith   Art Direction
Scott Colburn   Engineer
Steven Drozd   Composer
John Tejada   Remixing,Additional Production
DJ Downfall   Remixing,Additional Production
Chris Walla   Vocal Engineer,Guitar Engineer,Drum Engineering,Piano Engineer
Ben Gibbard   Composer,Lyricist,Introduction
James Mercer   Producer,Engineer
Matthew Dear   Additional Production
Sam Beam   Producer,Engineer
Jimmy Tamborello   Programming
Postal Service   Composer,Engineer,Writer
Arne Van Petegem   Remixing
Phillip David Charles Collins   Composer
Columbia   Original Image

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