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Track review: The Postal Service, 'A Tattered Line of String'

February 11, 2013|By Dana Moran | RedEye

"A Tattered Line of String"

The Postal Service

3.5 Stars

OK, let's be honest: While Postal Service fans have really, insanely high expectations from the band after 10 years of silence, we're also just pumped to be getting new material. And since the musical universe is now firmly ensconced in a new era of electronic music, Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello's timing really couldn't be more perfect.

Luckily for all of us, "A Tattered Line of String" is a bubbly, poppy delight. Gibbard's voice carries a citrusy freshness that was more downplayed amid the serious romance weighing on most of the original "Give Up" release. As on plenty of other Postal Service and Death Cab tracks, I'm always surprised by the lightness he can bring to an otherwise potentially soul-crushing situation. In this case, it's a guy who can't get things together with the object of his affection -- or with seemingly anything else in his life. But there's always hope. Former Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis, who did backing vocals on much of "Give Up," also is back for the family reunion, and once again she's a welcome guest.

On to the electronica portion of this conversation! Amid the more guttural, flashy beats backing a lot of the dubstep out recently, "Tattered Line's" optimistic tones are a relief. There's even a section at the beginning that sounds like Mario jumping on Goombas, which I assume Gibbard and Tamborello have a lot of experience with.

The bottom line: If these guys don't show up for Lolla, we're prepared to do some serious Bon Iver-level moping.

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