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The Postal Service - We Will Become Silhouettes (Cover Artwork)

The Postal Service

The Postal Service: We Will Become SilhouettesWe Will Become Silhouettes (2005)
Sub Pop Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

For some reason completely beyond my comphrension, the Postal Service's newest single, "We Will Become Silhouettes," doesn't really seem like a tailor-made radio fix at first. Only upon several listens of the track itself does it really start to sink in that amongst Jimmy Tamborello's near lo-fi, cr.
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For some reason completely beyond my comphrension, the Postal Service's newest single, "We Will Become Silhouettes," doesn't really seem like a tailor-made radio fix at first. Only upon several listens of the track itself does it really start to sink in that amongst Jimmy Tamborello's near lo-fi, crackling intro, Jenny Lewis's poignant echoing, and Ben Gibbard's amiable metaphor of a catchy-as-all-hell chorus, that it really is appropriate despite its five-minute running length. The band's newest single CD, titled the same name, helps illustrate this further.

I suppose that besides "..Silhouettes," the main attraction here would be "Be Still My Heart," recorded this past fall at Los Angeles's Dying Studios. Though it starts out nice with some more Atari-oriented blips and bleeps before a semi-retreat in favor of Gibbard's narration of early morning activity, it disappointingly fizzles in the second half as nothing more than white noise, relying too much on double-speaker vocal overlapping that comes off a little too cheesy with the chorus line "Be still my heart / this could be a brand new start."

"Nothing Better (Styrofoam Remix)" turns up and alters some of the programming from the original (which appeared on Give Up), setting robotic echoing to Gibbard's voice in the chorus before ditzy drum loops dance in erratically. When Lewis sings "I feel I must interject here;" her proclamation is all the more prevalent here, as the verse transition sounds entirely more dramatic than the original, with a keyboard providing a wall of sound for most of the verse's duration. Despite the heavy focus on programming, the vocal interplay between Gibbard and Lewis sounds even more Mates Of State-like, as all the cheeky yet romantically honest couplets like "Tell me am I right to think that there could be nothing better / than making you my bride and slowly growing old together" stand out better than before. The difference between this and "Be Still My Heart" is more or less the bounciness and flow as the lines come across.

The last track is a mostly program-less, slowed down version of the single, depending instead on stuttering acoustic strokes and a more stressed out, pronounced singing style of the lines from Gibbard. The changes made, although only somewhat admirable, are plenty to elicit inclusion of the song.

Also worthy of mention despite not actually being included with the disc is the video for "We Will Become Silhouettes." Directed by Napoleon Dynamite mastermind Jared Hess, you can immediately recognize the style, that being overhead camera shots and scenery straight out of early-90s Americana Suburbana (warm, fall colors, acid-washed jeans, etc. al). In case you missed the original article, you can check it out here. Its family value fuzziness and feel-good decade-old nostalgia warms your heart and is definitely worth a look.

Artwork from Kozyndan, who did The District Sleeps Alone and Such Great Heights if I'm not mistaken, does it here as well, and not only does it keep a really nice theme running through the "series" so-to-speak, but also captures the hellacious nature of northeast's frigid winter occurring as this is typed (and, well, the tundra-like conditions of other meteorologically unfortunate locations).

For even casual fans, We Will Become Silhouettes is likely worth a pickup, especially if the price is in the range of its preceding singles. Though it gives mixed blessings for the inevitable followup to Give Up in "Be Still My Heart," the rest of the package completes it fairly well.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
ThaMainMai (May 21, 2007)

Good album. Review, ehhhh.....

Kaitlin (March 2, 2007)

Ok so like Nothing Better and The District Sleeps Alone Tonight are like two of my favorite songs! they flipping rock AND the album cover for this cd is amazing!!!!

tristan (February 10, 2005)

A nice bonus, incites nice feelings of nostalgia and I'm sure Ben Gibbard's a nice fella.

Anonymous (February 10, 2005)

"..When Lewis sings "I feel I must interject here;".."

Jenny Lewis doesn't sing on that song.

moneenerd (February 10, 2005)

and ANCHORMAN was awesome!

moneenerd (February 10, 2005)

i always thought Postal Service was a little overrated. Same emo crap lyrics set to kinda cool synth beats.

swingline (February 10, 2005)

oh wait. i said i hate j-lo more. good.

swingline (February 10, 2005)

and i'm not really sure about the "more than j-lo" part either. i saw her new video, and yea, narcissism is taken to a whole new level.

swingline (February 10, 2005)

okay, fine, i mispoken. rites of spring is the only "credible" band i hate.

Anchors (February 9, 2005)

Yeah dude, Rites Of Spring is an odd band to hate. I can understand not liking them, but hate is usually reserved for bands who truly deserve it, like A Thorn For Every Heart.

Archangel (February 9, 2005)

"the only thing i hate more than rites of spring..."

How can you say that?

The Starting Line, Throwdown, The Used, Anchorman, Friends, Matchbook Romance, absolutepunk.net, Pennywise, Fear Before the March of Flames...

You really hate Rites of Spring more than any of those things?

Anonymous (February 9, 2005)

this score is for napoleon dynamite.
"whyyyyy do you love me? whyyyyyy do you need me? Always and forever... always.. and ....forever..."

SethCohen (February 9, 2005)

My English professor this past fall was obsessed with Bad Religion and Social D. A professor I had freshman year who loved Interpol, Jawbreaker, Trail of Dead, At the Drive-In, and thanks to me , Rilo Kiley. Yeah, I am that cool. He had an earring and a motorcycle, but he was no Jonathan Turner of Boy Meets World fame

Anonymous (February 9, 2005)

you people do realize that you are arguing about the merits of an online zine and how accurate their ratings are? don't you have something better to do?

shit...don't i have something better to do?

damn...i don't.

swingline (February 9, 2005)

the only thing i hate more than rites of spring... is j-lo

taco-flavored keesses for my ben!

bizzlebrizzle (February 9, 2005)

Only reason I used the word fag was cuz I know some PC kid will jump down my throat about it.

Anyways...

Yeah, my English teacher is a professor at a Private University

Anonymous (February 9, 2005)

My physics teacher in high school liked Rush.

RUSH!!

Coolest. Teacher. Ever.

Archangel (February 9, 2005)

"I love how easy it is to rile people up on this message board."

Good save. Now you get to ignore the question and act like you were just trying to "rile us up."

Also, sidenote: one of my English teachers also enjoys Fugazi and Rites of Spring.

lou (February 8, 2005)

pitchfork has a reputation to protect and pretenses to keep up.

PS - fugazi is a bad example.

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

Is your English teacher a university professor? It would be so much cooler if he were.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

pitchforks latest hives review was funny

Haggard (February 8, 2005)

Pitchfork has the worst "reviews" on the internet.

-Justin

bizzlebrizzle (February 8, 2005)

Despite being very popular, Fugazi have consistently received great reviews from Pitchfork. I don't think Pitchfork hold any ill feelings towards small bands that get bigger....they're simply good at detecting when artists turn into shit.

-Chinatown

Like I said, I'm not familiar with the magazine.

Fugazi ain't that big though. I'm sure most people would greet you with a blank stare when talking about Fugazi, that being said, my English teacher likes them.

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

Despite being very popular, Fugazi have consistently received great reviews from Pitchfork. I don't think Pitchfork hold any ill feelings towards small bands that get bigger....they're simply good at detecting when artists turn into shit.

-Chinatown

bizzlebrizzle (February 8, 2005)

I wonder how long it will take for Pitchfork to turn on Arcade Fire then?

/isn't to familiar with that jerk off magazine.

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

hey dumbass, pitchfork isnt anti-postal service all of the sudden. this is just a single with now much else to offer so it didn't get a very good review. i love the postal service full length but all of their singles are lame

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

so, since pitchfork gave the album a good review, they have to give the single a good review? that's lame. this single is a lame idea to begin with, and they were simply reviewing that...not the band or the album. sucka.

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

Pitchfork HAS to give this ep a bad review. OF COURSE they loved "Give Up" when it came out and gave it an 8.0, but that was when legions of 15 year-old girls had still never heard the name Ben Gibbard before.

bizzlebrizzle (February 8, 2005)

I love how easy it is to rile people up on this message board.

xWileyx (February 8, 2005)

even fucking pitchfork gave this a bad review!

swingline (February 8, 2005)

paul oakenfold is a butt pirate. spread the word.

musical-monkey (February 8, 2005)

release a new album already.

Haggard (February 8, 2005)

Why do these guys rock so hard?

-Justin

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

When are these guys signing to Sony?

-Chinatown

stevejonestherealbones (February 8, 2005)

thanks swingliner

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

"wasn't impressed by the single, the b-side track is decent... i wish they'd do more stuff like "this place is a prison" though."

that's what Deathcab For Cutie is for, asshole

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

awful

lobsterboy (February 8, 2005)

good

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

""This site has gone back to lame reviews of shitty mainstream bands.

There was like a 2 week period of nothing but good punk and hardcore bands."

Sorry, what was that? I can't hear you all the way up there on that high horse.

AND I AIN'T COMING DOWN BITCHES!

It's a nice view from the top!

Go ahead and listen to your fag music like Postal Service and The White Stripes.

At least Lagwagon gets top billings."

do you think lagwagon are also homophobic douches?

swingline (February 8, 2005)

http://www.punknews.org/article.php?sid=10703

bizzlebrizzle (February 8, 2005)

"This site has gone back to lame reviews of shitty mainstream bands.

There was like a 2 week period of nothing but good punk and hardcore bands."

Sorry, what was that? I can't hear you all the way up there on that high horse.

AND I AIN'T COMING DOWN BITCHES!

It's a nice view from the top!

Go ahead and listen to your fag music like Postal Service and The White Stripes.

At least Lagwagon gets top billings.

Archangel (February 8, 2005)

"This site has gone back to lame reviews of shitty mainstream bands.

There was like a 2 week period of nothing but good punk and hardcore bands."

Sorry, what was that? I can't hear you all the way up there on that high horse.

stevejonestherealbones (February 8, 2005)

because of the law suit, doesnt this band have some wierd contract with the united states postal service that they have to play for the united states post office when asked. ?

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

aubin (February 8, 2005)

In terms of lyrics, I think this track is one of the best on Give Up; the way Gibbard so patiently and delicately describes the imminent preparations and consequences of a nuclear holocaust is just so gently twisted.

That said, I was secretly expecting that the video would have ended with the family looking at and then vaporized by a mushroom cloud, but that might be a tad too much for MTV.

bizzlebrizzle (February 8, 2005)

This site has gone back to lame reviews of shitty mainstream bands.

There was like a 2 week period of nothing but good punk and hardcore bands.

adam (February 8, 2005)

"slow review week? the postal service single gets not only a review... but a review longer than the lagwagon 22 song live disc?"

We're all too disorganized and scattered around the world to have any sort of policy for how long one review should be compared to the other. It's really whatever the writer contributing his or her time wants to say.

That being said, long reviews of a single are kind of cool. I like to see that level of enthusiasm on the part of the writer and if the material gives them that much, so be it.

-adam

Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

It's because Lagwagon sucks.

colin (February 8, 2005)

slow review week? the postal service single gets not only a review... but a review longer than the lagwagon 22 song live disc?

ouch.

wasn't impressed by the single, the b-side track is decent... i wish they'd do more stuff like "this place is a prison" though.

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