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Posted by: Dave on June 11, 2001 at 12:47 am

Few artists since The Who have been able to make quirky, artful gems sound this simple. On Oh, Inverted World The Shins debut a style of pop that’s nearly as ambitious as Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd and Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys, but with an energy that’s straight out of the garage.

Tight hooks and harmonies are colored, but not bogged down, by flickering, acoustic guitars; spacey, impressionistic synthesizers; and lead vocalist James Mercer’s sophisticated, high-pitched warble. Even the album’s opening track “Caring is Creepy,” avoids sounding like overindulgent Progressive Rock through their unique ability to make the complex catchy.


Part of The Shins secret is brevity. Most tracks clock in at two to three minutes, which sets them apart from bands who think experimenting warrants meandering. The other part of the secret is just that, a secret. Somehow the forces of Pop have aligned correctly to make this a thoroughly refreshing delight.

– Dave Powers
(As posted 6/11/01 on 3wk.com)



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