Give Up - The Postal Service

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. Gibbard's delicate voice matches the subtle electro arrangements far more precisely than it does the folky guitars of his real group.
  2. Gibbard finds the near-perfect pop record that's eluded his main group. [Listen 2 This supplement, Mar 2003, p.12]
  3. Like any worthy match, the coming together gives each aspect assets that they'd be wont to find otherwise, the eletroclashy bursting with depth and the indie-croon thankfully adrenalized.
  4. The interplay of Gibbard's shyly introspective vocals with Tamborello's dense and meticulous backdrops works surprisingly well, at times better than anything to date from Death Cab or DNTEL.
  5. The core tension between Tamborello's complex, almost impossibly dense production and Gibbard's cutting voice makes Give Up a pretty damned strong record, and one with enough transcendent moments to forgive it its few substandard tracks and some ungodly lyrical blunders.
  6. 80
    Somewhere between Faultline's bedroom-boffin invention and Stephen Merritt's pensive elegance. [May 2003, p.99]
  7. All 10 songs yield more delights with every hearing. [May 2003, p.112]
  8. The project is pretty perfect, really.... Give Up ultimately becomes a beautiful lesson in how to dance life's pain away. [Mar 2003, p.100]
  9. Give Up is pure, unadulterated dance pop from start to finish.
  10. Give Up is an outstanding, creative effort from two of indie rock's most disparate voices.
  11. Give Up's one real pitfall is that, on the whole, it sounds almost exactly like you'd expect a collaboration between these two men would, or for that matter, should, sound -- which certainly isn't to say that the music isn't enjoyable, or memorable.
  12. If Pet Shop Boys recorded for Warp Records, the results might be close.
  13. album hits people who love the sound extravaganzas of overdubbed guitar symphonies, can't hang with the folkiness full-service singer-songwriters inevitably preserve, and expect melodic flair and beats, yet sometimes want to hear words.
  14. 80
    The result is somewhere between the Pet Shop Boys' meticulous dance pop and the driving keyboard rock of acts like Zero Zero.
  15. Some people who liked the more experimental side of Tamborello's DNTEL project will simply find it a little too boppy for their liking, but it's one of those little discs that practically drills down into your subconscious.
  16. Never once during the course of the album’s ten songs, do its creators even graze the surface of mediocrity, instead settling in the sunny middle ground that Gibbard so often inhabits.
  17. 70
    A resounding success. [Jun 2003, p.92]
  18. It doesn't scale the heights of either of their main projects, but it's far more consistent and enjoyable than might be expected.
  19. Tamborello's delightful pings and whistles fit Gibbard's whimsy perfectly.
  20. While the record isn't necessarily an instant classic, the unabashed embrace of simple pop sensibilities, both old and new, make it a record that is hard to stop listening to.
  21. A pleasurable but uneven set that makes for occasionally compelling, but not addictive, listening.
  22. 30
    Give Up is a record that says, well, nothing. [#58, p.100]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 130 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 78 out of 80
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 80
  3. Negative: 2 out of 80
  1. Oct 2, 2013
    Unique, pure, astonishing and original. This is the only album that The Postal Service has ever released, but it's an absolute work of art. With its unique synthesized tracks to it's well written songs delivered by the lead singer from Death Cab For Cutie. Sadly, this album as well as the artist is not as well known as it should be, they get credibility for their most famous song "Such Great Heights" and pretty much nothing else. This album combines melancholy with happiness and the two mix perfectly, and create some of the most absurdly catch tracks I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. Full Review »
  2. Apr 15, 2013
    For an album made almost a decade ago, this is still some of the most original material I have ever heard. The light and conscious lyricism, the various blips and bleeps make it so fun to listen to. Everything feels like it was put together one piece at a time, but of all the things that have been done like that, this feels RIGHT. The vocals are relaxing, perfect for any time of the day. This makes a definite top 5 for myself personally. Haven't listened to it? Go buy it and be a cool person. Full Review »
  3. May 25, 2011
    One of the few albums I still regularly listen to after nearly 5 years of owning it. I'm so glad I found this; I only wish I'd found it earlier. Brilliant. Full Review »