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Shmat's Reviews
For more reviews, please visit Palebear which is where all future Shmat reviews will appear (as of March 2006).

The Postal Service
We Have Become Silhouettes (CD Single)

I suppose I should just get over my Postal Service complex. Having been a huge DCFC fan previously, I've been more than a bit doubtful about being forcefed Ben Gibbard in a different context; after all why take the chance of spoiling the good thing? Especially when it involves that genre that often crouches like an 80s orangutang on my back - Eeeelectronica.

I could say it's all Dntel Jimmy's fault, but Gibbard has long professed an interest in electronica, and even went so far as to cover a song by my arch-nemesis, Bjork on one of DFCF's EPs. So anyhow, it comes as a bit of a surprise that I enjoyed the Postal Service's latest single, We Have Become Silhouettes. Perhaps it's the fact that it was a single so I was able to absorb only limited amounts, or the fact that Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis plays more than second fiddle on the songs. In any case, for this first time I feel that a song like "We Have Become Silhouettes" seems to actually successfully combine the best parts of Gibbard's vocals with frenetic Album Leaf/Tristeza type synths and electronica. "Be Still My Heart", a lovely little soaring duet between Lewis and Gibbard, actually sounds like it could land on your latest sex 'n angst driven teenybop show like the O.C. Wait, so they actually already play DCFC and Rilo Kiley on the O.C... But anyhow. When Lewis injects her two cents solo on the Styrofoam remix of "Nothing Better" it makes it sound like a really catchy Magnetic Fields song, as if they weren't catchy enough. The Matthew Dear remix of "We Will Become Silhouettes" sounds even better than the actual song, with more sparse instrumentation highlighting the vocal contributions of the players. Add to this the great video of "We Have Become Silhouettes" that was produced by Jared Hess ("Napoleon Dynamite") and I've got to say that all the reservations I had about the Postal Service were simply in my head. It's clear that I should just give up and like this damn band already.

- review by BY (2.6.05)        

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