The Postal Service
As much as I love The Postal Service, this newest EP from the group feels sort of like the flogging of a dead horse considering their album came out almost two years ago now. Give Up arrived at just the perfect time as a nicely-produced gem of electronic pop, and several bands have tried to replicate the success of that release without nearly as much success. Even though many laptop pop groups fall prey to severe lack of stage presence, I have to give the trio props in that they kept me (and just about the entire audience I saw them with) plenty occupied, even soliciting forgiving remarks when Tamborello's laptop crashed and we had to stand around waiting for a reboot.
After two years, a single new track from the group doesn't feel like a whole lot, and that's all that one really gets with this release. The title track opens the short disc (unfortunately the video for the track, which was done by Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess, doesn't even make the disc), then "Be Still My Heart" presents itself as plenty nice, but somehow feeling a bit like a rehash with the buzzing bassline, clicky beat, and warm overlapping melodies. Ben Gibbard and Jenny Lewis are back on dueting vocals, but it just lacks something overall and is here and gone in just over three minutes.
The two remixes that help fill out the disc are both passable as well, but only one of them injects much new life into the original track that it takes on. Styrofoam (who worked with Tamborello on his latest release) drops a slightly-glitchified remix of "Nothing Better" while Matthew Dear goes in a completely different direction that I would have expected (given his almost housey personal releases) with a very pretty, stripped-down take on "We Will Become Silhouettes" that turns it into an almost droning meditation. It's true that Tamborello has been busy seemingly non-stop in the past couple years not only helping produce the work of other people (including Bright Eyes), but also working on several side projects (including a self-titled release, as well as the hip-hop disc under the name Headset), but unless you're simply a hardcore Postal Service fan who wants to get everything they've released, this one will leave you hanging a bit.