I don't like The Postal Service very much and am continually disappointed by their songs, but think the idea behind it –to make music by correspondence– is compelling. The Foreign Exchange, composed of US MC Phonte and Holland native Nicolay, on the other hand sound nothing like TPS, yet used webboards and instant messaging to compose this sincere and intricate hip-hop album. Using soul, dub, and electronic influences this album has a serious edge and a broad concept. Connected doesn't try and be anything it isn't, which gives it all the power to be something more. Phonte raps about the lows just as much as the highs, the hopes and the fears.