In 2003, I was not hip enough to have come across The Postal Service. It was a number of years later towards the end of my time in university, when I was listening to Rilo Kiley’s Under The Blacklight and some songs by Death Cab for Cutie, that they came into view. This ‘super-group’ containing Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard, Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis on backing vocals and engineer Jimmy Tamborello were the definition of ‘quick as a flash tis gone’ and the legacy of this single album looms large.
The shadow of the album’s lead single ‘Such Great Heights’ probably looms even larger. I am not quite sure how to quantify it, but to me this is close to a perfect song. It ticks so many of my boxes for what makes a song I will love and continue to love many years later. The feel is positive and breezy, without being cloyingly sweet. It’s a beautiful blend of pop, electropop and indie – with a catchy chorus, delightful electronic elements and lyrics and good interplay in the vocal layers. Hardly an original opinion that ‘Such Great Heights’ is one of the best songs of all time, but if the boot fits.
The rest of the album doesn’t live up to the heights of the highlight. Then again, few songs do. However, Give Up is still a great album – albeit front loaded with ‘Such Great Heights’ and ‘The District Sleeps Alone Tonight’. ‘Clark Gable’ is an interesting love story about someone yearning for a cinematic romance and then there’s closer ‘Natural Anthem’ that is a darker track that is pretty much an instrumental until right at the end.
Given the expansion of the list, I am actually having to make a check of what I listen to in my day-to-day working life is now something to post about. Today, I just had an urge to listen to the Postal Service, like how I recently had a Panda Bear urge. Feels like this will end up with me just posting a lot of albums blog posts until things become less familiar.