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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 3 January 2004
This first album from the "Postal Service" is a very promising start. When I first bought this it was never out my cd player for weeks. It contains an extensive use of electronics throughout yet the music is almost impossible to categorise into a specific genera. The single "Such Great Heights" combines catchy electro beats and synths with lyrics that suit the mood of the music perfectly. Other standout tracks include "Nothing Better", also containing powerful lyrics. On a negative note, the later half of the album does take a downward turn but at the end revives itself with the industrial "natural anthem". Their music reminds me of a modern day Kraftwerk and I would certainly recommend this to anyone who has a fondness for electronica of any form.
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on 20 May 2003
When a friend first told me about this I was so curious I just had to hear it, and it doesnt disappoint. Give Up is what happens when you mix beautiful electronica, lo-fi atmospherics and emo tendencies. As soon as the backing vocals come in on 'The District Sleeps Alone Tonight'(at about 10 seconds) you know your listening to a great record.It is very hard to find fault here, even 'Nothing Better' which at times sounds like Human League playing GameBoys is wonderfully tender and sweet - like Yoshimi-era Flaming Lips at their poppiest. Don't be surprised if the Flips' sound isnt a million miles away from this on their next album. Put simply - the Postal Service certainly delivers.
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on 18 May 2005
The Postal Service first came to my attention a while ago when I heard a remix of "the district..", but to the best of my knowledge they are still largely unknown, I think partly because of the relative lack of publicity on the part of sub-pop and the media in general. People tend to know Ben Gibbard as part of Death Cab For Cutie, and perhaps Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel) but not this joint-project, which is less a band in the conventional sense than a brilliantly successful example of genre-fusing; principally "emo" and "electronica".

This might seem like an unusual combination (indeed, the collaboration occurred entirely via post, hence the name) but the result is fantastic.
Right from the opener, "the district sleeps...", all the songs have a beautiful dreamy quality, characterised by Mr Gibbard's wistful vocal over a lush soundscape of electronic, glitchy, sweeping noise. Such a description probably doesn't do the album full justice yet the resulting effect is magnificent.
Highly recommended - I just wish there were a few more than 10 tracks on the LP. Still, the maxim was obviously quality over quantity, certainly something the Postal Service have collectively achieved. Highlights include "such great heights", "sleeping in", "the district...", "clark gable", "brand new colony" and "natural anthem".
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on 9 September 2003
I'll be honest, I only bought this album threw curiosity. Since hearing 'The Photo Album' (Death Cab For Cutie) I was obsessed with everything the band did, so when i heard Ben Gibbard was involved in the Postal Service I just had to hear it, and to a good extent i'm glad i did. The first three songs are three of the best songs I have heard all year with 'sleeping in' being the best really showing Ben Gibbard's abilities as an exceptional lyricist. The album ends brilliantly aswell with the exceptional 'Natural Anthem'. The Only problem is that i cant help but feel that i end up skipping a lot of the middle tracks (that is of course with the exception of We will become silhouettes - Classic). Don't let this put you off though as the album only has 10 songs so there aren't that many to skip.
All in all this is a must here for all Death Cab For Cutie fans to fully appreciate Ben Gibbard's talents, but other people will also find it an enjoyable listen.
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on 19 January 2010
This truly is an amazing album, got it about 6 years ago after a recommendation from a friend and I can quite happily say its my pick me up album, frst thing in the morning or last thing at night, its truly a gem!!! The last couple of years of elctro pop lovers will love this, it goes beyond the surface level of Owl City, but easier to get in to than Dntel or Figurine, Owl City were clearly influenced by the guys behind postal service (Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello). Not a bad track on this, actually recommend getting the singles around too and if you can find poastal services cover of phil collins 'against all odds' (don't laugh, you won't regret downloading it) ahh here it is Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) you will love it!!! One of the best covers of all time, asvoted by many a music website.

Seriously just buy it!! It's amazing!!!
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on 14 July 2005
If ever there was a genre that was least expected, prehaps it was this. Electro-emo. It has all the makings of the modern emotional music trend, thanks to the vocals of Death Cab's main man, but is mutated quite beautifully by some very engaging and wonderously breezy techno pop. Highlight, Such Great Heights, is as uplifting as anything in today's emo scene. The strange thing is, the LP could be the perfect soundtrack to both summer and winter. It'll cool you down in the heat, but also warm you up in the cold; it really is something quite spectacular. Towards then end there is a little lapse in quality, if only because there is a limit to how creative you can be with restricted, computerised emo. However, the whole package is ironically beautiful. A day-time Kraftwerk, you could say.
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on 13 June 2005
This album really does work. The unlikely combination seems to create an incredible atmosphere in the music. There are so many aspects of this album that are truly unique, it is hard to pick any one out. The lyrics alone of 'Sleeping In' are the making of an excellent song, and the excellently crafted electronica accompaniament takes it one step further.
It is so refreshing to hear a band like this in the generally bland pop culture we live in nowadays. You just have to scrape away at the surface, and you can find gems like this. I cannot reccommend this album enough.
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on 2 February 2006
this is a great record for anyone who likes something a little funky. its interesting and fun. "nothing better" and "sleeping in" are the best tracks and they are both really awesome!
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on 13 February 2010
This musical meeting of the genius that is Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie and Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello is perhaps a marriage that shouldn't work, but don't you believe it for one second!

Gibbard's soft, fragile vocals gorgeously compliment Tamborello's beautifully-paced electronic beats, clicks etc, telling heart-rending tales as only this master lyricist can. This guy knows pain and is here to share both his and yours! And yet Tamborello injects often-inappropriately jolly tunes into the equation which cannot fail but instil happiness and ease of listening to morose subject matters.

The outstanding tracks for me are the wonderful Such Great Heights, Nothing Better, Clark Gable and We Will Become Silhouettes (check out The Shins' very original and equally brilliant cover of this number), though there are absolutely no fillers on this album and every track offers moments of either addictive tunes or thought-provoking lyrics filled with empathy.

I cannot stress enough how much I would recommend this masterpiece. If you like great music buy Give Up, or give up on great music!
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on 8 January 2004
I came across the postal service via a snowboarding dvd (Lame by Robot Food), with guys pulling Frontside 1080's to the strains of "such great heights" and I have to tell you I've not been this excited by a band in ages. I was (and still am) a fan of OMD in there early days (Dazzle Ships, Organisation,Architecture and Morality), before they sold out and went too pop, and the stripped out electropop with tortured lyrics remind me alot of them. There also seems to be a healthy dose of Kraftwerk thrown in for good measure. Back to the dvd again it has such an eclectic choice of music that I'm now off to check out St Thomas too.
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