Jan 20, 2007

Wincing The Night Away- The Shins

Wincing The Night Away, the third release from The Shins, is without doubt the first major release in 2007. Now I would say that most of us fell in love with "Oh, Inverted World" and "Chutes too Narrow". I think that The Shins' perfect blend of melody and melancholy is impossible to resist. Arriving with this new album, it seems we will have to share them with a much bigger audience. But I am happy to say that they have not disappointed us and have delivered an effortlessly beautiful album. I would have to say that though "Wincing..." doesn't contain the veritable smorgasboard of pop gems from their first 2 records, they have shown a slightly darker sound and more languid side that shows the band growing whilst still retaining that distinctive Shins sound. The highlight for me is the opener "Sleeping Lessons", a sublime song that builds and then bursts into pop perfection. Other delights are the single "Phantom Limb", "Australia", "Turn On Me"(featuring Anita Robinson of Viva Voce) and the closer "A Comet Appears". Perhaps the most interesting track is "Black Wave", a slow introspective song which is quite eerie. I think the best way to get the most out of this record is to listen to it repeatedly and I think eventually you will fall in love with it. It won't give you the instant buzz of "Chutes too Narrow", but it will reward you. You can tell that the band has put a lot of time and effort into it, their melodies are still perfect and James Mercer's voice has never sounded better.

Some lyrics from "Sleeping Lessons"-
Go without till the need seeps in,
You low animal,
Collect your novel petals for the stem,
And glow, glow, Melt and flow,
Eviscerate your fragile frame,
And spill it out in the ragged floor,
A thousand different versions of yourself

Here is an informed review from Passion of the Weiss.
MP3: Phantom Limb.

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