Top 100 Albums of the Decade: #28 The Postal Service - Give Up
Top 100 Albums of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one album and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 album of the decade!
Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.
#28 The Postal Service - Give Up
Give Up is the age-old story of boy meets boy, boy writes pretty lyrics and melody, other boy creates pretty electronic backdrop, together boys create a beautiful album and the rest is history. The two boys in the story are of course Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie) and Jimmy Tamborello (Figurine & Dntel), and the album is 2003's brilliant Sub Pop Records release Give Up. The two created such a cohesively warm and romantic album together that it's hard to believe the collaboration took place across the continental United States (via the U.S. Postal Service no less), and not on a warm spring day shared over a cold-glass of lemonade. Okay, as Gibbard errs more on the emo-side, maybe it would have been a cold-winter night, next to a warm fire with a mug of hot chocolate. Each of the ten songs on the album plays off the next, almost like a musical would do with a collective story of the universal theme of love (lost, found, unrequited and all of it's other forms). Guest vocals are provided by Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley), and Jen Wood (Tattle Tale), which with Lewis' duet with Gibbard on "Nothing Better" conjures up images of Danny and Sandy dancing around singing "You're the One That I Want" at the end of Grease (an image that was only enhanced when I saw it performed live by the two of them). There is also something to be said about the effect the collaboration had on Gibbard, because until Plans, Death Cab For Cutie has never been a big band in my musical life. Gibbard's voice always seemed much grander and completely ill-suited for the mediocre droney indie rock that Death Cab put forth.
So, why is it that Give Up continuously outlasts the test of time? Perhaps the greatest strength of Give Up could very well be the fact that its a one-off record. While there have been rumors and a few song collaborations, The Postal Service have never bothered to make a follow up to Give Up. In a culture like ours, where successes become sources for over-saturation, sequels and pressured follow-ups, it's nice that an album like Give Up can be just as it is, a perfect electro-pop record that is always a pleasure to go back to.
- Nicole Coxe
Check back tomorrow for the next album! To see the full list of the Top 100 Albums of the Decade, click here.