I have many great associations attached to The Postal Service’s 2003 album Give Up. I was reminded about those associations while watching their performance of “From Such Great Heights” on The Colbert Report last night. They range from great times with beer, wine, and women, to the time I listened to it while having all four of my wisdom teeth cut out of my face, high out of my mind on Nitrous Oxide. Despite my love for the album and the strong likelihood of me seeing them when they come to LA this summer (fucking Big Freedia is opening for them! How weird is that?), The Postal Service should not record another album.
It is rare to encounter something as perfect as the 10 songs that make up Give Up. It is simple, moody, atmospheric, funny, and poignant. Ben Gibbard and Jenny Lewis’ vocals intertwine so effortlessly and despite Jimmy Tamborello’s sampling spawning a decade of lesser imitators, Give Up is still the apotheosis of electropop. There is nothing wasted, nothing to throw away, and nothing more to add.
Of course it helps that all parties involved have a plethora of other excellent work to listen to if you’ve got a jones for some Gibbard or Lewis that isn’t The Postal Service, but even if we never heard from any of those folks before or after Give Up, the perfection of that album would still hold, I think. It’s The Beatles without the psychedelic bloat and egoistical indulgence.
If you haven’t listened to Give Up in a while, look it up. There’s a tenth anniversary remaster out now.