Ben Gibbard is the beautifully gifted vocalist from Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service, but his voice appears pretty much everywhere nowadays. Chances are, if you're listening to an indie record, he's probably lent his vocals somewhere on that album. The following list is one that comprises songs whose lead vocals are sung by Ben Gibbard.5. "Tiny Vessels" from the Death Cab for Cutie album "Transatlanticism" - On an album as overrated as "Transatlanticism," this song stood out as the most beautiful song on the album and boasts some of the best lyrics that Gibbard has ever written. If you haven't heard it, buy the album. Because even if it isn't as good as "Plans," it still is pretty decent. And this song makes the purchase entirely worth it.
4. "Such Great Heights" from The Postal Service album "Give Up" - There's a reason this song has been covered by Iron and Wine, featured on movie sountracks, and carved into the minds of college hipsters and prepubescent girls around the globe. It's an awesome song. One that you can't forget after you hear it. One that will stay with you forever. And one of the best songs ever written. Gibbard's strong points really shine through here, and you can't help but love every second of it.
3. "(This is) The Dream of Evan and Chan" from the Dntel album "Life Is Full of Possibilities" - Not only is it a beautiful song, but it marks the first time that Jimmy Tamborello and Ben Gibbard (aka The Postal Service) ever collaborated. The magic that began here, would catapult the two artists towards superstardom a few years later as The Postal Service. And the world rejoices. If you consider yourself a fan of The Postal Service and have never heard this song, then I doubt your fan-ness....or whatever. Simply put, listen to it.
2. "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" by The Postal Service from the soundtrack to "Wicker Park" - Wicker Park was a terrible movie, but at least it's producers were smart. Right on the heels of the uber popular Garden State, whose soundtrack remains one of the best-selling movie soundtracks of all time, the makers of Wicker Park thought it would be a good idea to milk the same kind of success from their soundtrack. So while the movie sucked, they managed to fill the soundtrack with all the cool indie music that hipsters could stand. I don't think it worked quite as well, mostly because the movie and it's soundtrack was less cohesive than Garden State's, but it did manage to feature one of my favorite songs by The Postal Service in "Against All Odds," a Phil Collins cover. Gibbard's voice is as frail as it's ever been here, and Tamborello doesn't pull any punches either. It's a truly great song. Listen to it.
1. "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" from The Postal Service album "Give Up" - Compiling this list was harder than you might think. There are a ton of great songs out there that have been sung by Gibbard, and I feel kinda bad for not putting more Death Cab songs on the list. After all, that's his main gig. But when I search my gut, which according to Stephen Colbert is what really counts, no song stands out as much as "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight," the lead-off track to The Postal Service's unforgettable album. In just a few short seconds, your full attention is captured as Gibbard sings, "Smeared black ink..." You never look back, and you'll never forget the upcoming experience. It's one of the best albums ever made, and this is best song on there. It was the first Ben Gibbard song I ever heard, and it changed my life. That's powerful stuff.