Give Up

Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie has always been a daydreamer. But on Give Up — his first album with laptop techno whiz Jimmy Tamborello, under the name Postal Service — Gibbard leaves behind the dreamy indie rock of his regular band in favor of a cuddly little New Wave reverie. Songs such as "Clark Gable," about making home movies with your ex, and "Nothing Better," a he-said/she-said number that may be the most touching electronica love song since Daft Punk's "Digital Love," sound charmingly modest — until you find yourself humming them everywhere. Tamborello's delightful pings and whistles (try the pixie-dust drum-and-bass of "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight") fit Gibbard's whimsy perfectly.

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