“This is The Postal Service. I have this album. You’d probably like it.” Mike was singing quietly along with the song on the overhead speakers at the store. I don’t remember the store. I don’t remember the song. I just remember that Mike recommended it to me. A couple days later, I put the album on my Palm so that I could listen to it at lunch in the park.
I’ve talked before about using The New Music Binge Test to decide whether an album is good or not, but there are some albums that I love from the second that I hear them. I can tell that there are no stinkers. I can tell that I could listen to this album a hundred times and just be learning the words and memorizing the bass lines.
That’s how Give Up by The Postal Service is. It’s the kind of album that leaves you playing it on repeat for days. You’ll forget all about all the other CDs in your changer and you’ll just keep starting it over and over. You can listen to clips on Amazon.com, but they are painfully short and don’t really convey all the beauty that the album has to offer.
My favorite of them all is Natural Anthem.
I’ll write you a song and it won’t be hard to sing It will be a natural anthem, familiar it will seem It will rally all the workers on strike for better pay And its chorus will resound and boost morale throughout the day
I’ll write you a song and I hope that you won’t mind Because all the names and places I have taken from real life So please don’t get upset at this portrait that I paint It may be a little biased, but at least I spelt your name right…
Posted here, the lyrics feel empty and stripped of their true meaning. I don’t know how it is that music adds so much more to the experience of poetry, but I’m left with the sense that poetry is not enough. The first time I heard Natural Anthem, I was weepy at the end. “Yes,” I thought to myself, “that’s what I want to do. I want my blog to boost morale throughout the day. I’m sorry I hurt your feelings sometimes, but at least I spelt your name right.”
When you click on the clip on Amazon.com to hear this song, they just play the music and you won’t hear any of the lyrics. You’ll just have to buy the album. It passes the New Music Binge Test, but more importantly, it passes the True Artist Test.