The collaboration between Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard and Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello is an album of breezy electronic pop that updates classic 80s synth-pop with contemporary beats.
In every sense of the word Give Up
, the debut album from American Electro beatniks the Postal Service is a remarkable record. Born of a chance meeting between Ben Gibbard, singer of Seattle indie-rockers Death Cab for Cutie and LA resident and Dntel lynch-pin Jimmy Tamborello, and written and recorded by post--hence the name the Postal Service--it's an inspired, if unlikely, marriage of lo-fi innocence and hi-tech beauty. Gibbard's voice is filled with the insecure questioning normally restricted to recently dumped singers in emo bands. Tamborello's clicks, bleeps, analogue murmurs and eerie scraps are the stuff of inaccessible bedroom electronica. Together though, they find a sensual middle ground where stories of jilted lovers and fragile desires softly prick the emotions on a tidal wave of otherworldly synthetic sounds. "The District Sleeps Alone", with its tripping beats, bittersweet computer strings and tragically uplifting hook is melancholy at its most tender. "Sleeping In" is a joyously sunny daydream; a naïve vision of how good the world could be. And everything else falls somewhere between the two--equal parts heartbreak and hope, to form a strange and wonderful dimension where electro-pop has a soul. --Dan Gennoe