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GIVE UP [Vinyl]

4.4 out of 5 stars 500 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

It's been nearly two years since the monumentally successful "Give Up" CD came out. Since then, it's scanned over 350,000 and is currently enjoying sales that are consistently better than any other period during its release. Now comes the vinyl edition, containing a bonus six track EP with the b-sides of both commercially available Postal Service CD singles. Also includes covers by The Shins and Iron & Wine as well as the remixes from "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" single.
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (November 9, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop Records
  • ASIN: B000095K7A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (500 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #922 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By nycgirl TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I read a review for this album as "...so good that, in a just world, it would stop the war on its own."
Oh, how right that is.
A distinctly modern melange of nü wave, dance, alterna-pop, and synth, I'd best describe Postal Service as "Electro-indie". If you're a child of the 80s like me who grew up with New Order, OMD, Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys, no need to read further--you'll immediately love "Give Up".
In the midst of NYC's current electroclash craze which is so overhyped at times (gosh, just lay down some minimal synths and have some bored models chant vocals), Postal Service is the outstanding contender as the smartest electro band of the year with an album that's so emotional (melody-wise and lyric-wise), so beautiful, and so well-produced that it puts bands like Fischerspooner to shame. Jenny Lewis' angelic, trance-like girlish voice enhances Gibbard's boyish vocals. Catchy, simple-sounding but beautifully complex, every single track---and I mean every single one--is up to par.
notable faves are:
1- "District Sleeps Alone Tonight" - Angelic and soft, gradual fades of breakbeats, staccatos and instrumentals with enchanting melody and lyrics that speed up and slow down. Gorgeous.
4- "Nothing Better" - Electro pop at its finest. This duet is so unbelievably catchy, melancholic yet bubbly, sweetened with a bouncy bass line and perfectly placed tweaks and twiddles.
9- "Brand New Colony" - An emotional track intertwined with the twinkly theme from Super Mario Brothers. Brimming with nostalgia, you can hear the gold coins spinning and ka-chingin' as you make Mario jump.
10- "Natural Anthem" - A fierce, drum 'n bass-influenced track in the style of Aphex and other IDM'ers. The junglist in me loves this. A great way to end this five-star album.
But you'll find your own favorites. Every track was just so satisfyingly good, I nearly cried at the end. You just don't hear people making music like this nowadays.
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Format: Audio CD
Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello and Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard knew they were on to something good as soon as they finished collaborating on the track "(This is) the Dream of Evan and Chan." That compelling combination of Tamborello's melodic knob-twiddling and Gibbard's literate vocals and forlorn delivery was the triumph of Dntel's acclaimed 2001 release Life Is Full of Possibilities. Not long after that first collaboration, The Postal Service was born. The relative strangers began recording in December 2001, swapping tracks on CD-Rs through the mail.
Listening to the act's debut brings back the same sort of giddiness inspired in me by New Order's Low Life when I first picked it up a decade-and-a-half ago. The Postal Service expertly channels that adolescent spirit with an awkward blend of dance beats and melodic songwriting. However, the duo has updated the sound for the millennial set, pleasantly mixing Depeche Mode beats and bass lines, Pet Shop Boys melodies and Warp Records-styled twinkling tones and clicks. Orchestral samples and pseudo horns add an unusual flavor to "Clark Gable." Chunky, monophonic Casio-sounding keys tie the vocals to the beat in "Nothing Better."
Two of the album's highlights appear right at the front end of the record. The first song, "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight," leads with brooding organ, before beats saunter in and steadily cruise through the first verse and chorus to a clean, ringing guitar riff. A second chorus pumps even harder and defies you to not sing along. This despite a characteristically bumming realization repeated by Gibbard: "I am finally seeing why I was the one worth leaving" (Christ, Benny, just stick a fork through my heart, why don't you?). Track two, "Such Great Heights," has already been released as a single.
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Format: Audio CD
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.
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