label: Sub Pop
our score: 3.5 out of 5.0
lot of artists this year have seemed to turn to the eighties for
musical influence. And the new electronic band on the block, The
Postal Service, proves no exception. It’s filled with all
the silly lyrics, new-wave echoes, and toyish piano riffs people
grew to love in the eighties. Made up of Death Cab For Cutie’s
Benjamin Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello, this disc seems to be the
most original thing that’s come out this year for electronica.
While 2003 has been lacking in this genre, this should be able
to tide us over, at least until the new Portishead album finally
sees the light of day.
album starts off with a quite ordinary Radiohead-sounding first
track. But towards the end of that song, it builds up into a full
string arrangement. Like most trippy albums, it gets a bit repetitive
towards the end songs, most notably starting with “This
Place is a Prison”. But there are so many gems intertwined
throughout the collection that it makes up for that problem easily.
The tracks “Nothing Better” and “Brand New Colony”
‘s beats sound like they could have come straight from an
old Nintendo game. The lyrics and vocals are average at best,
and don’t really break any new ground for the genre. (typical
lyric: “Last week I had the strangest dream that everything
was exactly how it seemed”) But after all, isn’t electronic
music all about the instrumentation?
last song, “Natural Anthem”, seems to be the closest
thing we have to a type of instrumental opus, but ultimately builds
up to a weak climax and then falls.
Up has it’s fair share of hits and misses. But because
it is so heavily influenced by early new wave artists (e.g. Pet
Shop Boys) it seems to bring a lot to the table. This album would
have been known as the official future of music if released in
1982. There is nothing on this album that will totally blow you
away, but will at least satisfy your cravings.
liked Give Up...
1. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
2. Such Great Heights
3. Sleeping In
4. Nothing Better
5. Recycled Air
6. Clark Gable
7. We Will Become Silhouettes
8. This Place Is a Prison
9. Brand New Colony
10. Natural Anthem