Give Up [Deluxe]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
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."]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/9/2013
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • UPC: 098787104523
  • Catalog Number: 71045
  • Sales rank: 11,329

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Postal Service Primary Artist
Jen Wood Vocals, Background Vocals
Chris Walla Piano
Jenny Lewis Background Vocals
Jimmy Tamborello Accordion, Keyboards, Group Member
Benjamin Gibbard Guitar, Drums, Keyboards, Electric Piano, 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
Emily Lazar Mastering
DJ Downfall Remixing, Additional Production
Chris Walla Vocal Engineer, Guitar Engineer, Drum Engineering, Piano Engineer
James Mercer Producer, Engineer
Matthew Dear Additional Production
Sam Beam Producer, Engineer
Jimmy Tamborello Programming
The Postal Service Composer, Engineer, Writer
Joe LaPorta Mastering
Arne Van Petegem Remixing
Phillip David Charles Collins Composer
Benjamin Gibbard Composer, Lyricist, Introduction
Al Columbia Original Image
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