Ten years after its initial release, Dntel’s Life Is Full of Possibilities still sounds as fresh and unparalleled as it was then. To celebrate this momentous album’s ten-year anniversary, it was re-released as a deluxe edition featuring a few unreleased tracks and a plethora of remixes.
The album that laid the cornerstone for the formation of The Postal Service still immediately grabs listeners in with its first track, “Umbrella.” Chris Gunst’s airy vocals force listeners further in, until the beat has fully developed and there is no longer any hope of escape. “Anywhere Anyone” exerts a tight grip as well, further uniting the listener and the music.
Interestingly enough, though, it is the penultimate track, “(This Is) The Dream Of Evan And Chan,” that is the unquestionable zenith of this mountainous album. It is this song that truly led to the formation of The Postal Service, as critics and fans alike demanded (and still do demand) more collaboration between Dntel and Ben Gibbard, vocalist for Death Cab for Cutie. Gibbard’s precise, nostalgic vocals float over Dntel’s bumpy, hard-beating electronica in a way that is still as novel and unexpected today as it was in 2001.
After one final track on the first disc, the deluxe edition of Life continues into its second, a collection of remixes and previously unreleased tracks. These are all good songs – the highlight is probably the Lali Puna remix of “Evan and Chan.” But they really do nothing to expand on what was already there, although they are certainly enjoyable to listen to. Then again, if essentially no other artist has been able to discover the ingredients of Dntel’s musical recipe for success, how can we expect him to cook us another great meal?