Posted by: Dave on January 23, 2007 at 9:18 am

ShinsWincingSound:The Shins’ signature whimsical and dreamy pop occasionally stretches out to longer lengths while exploring more melancholy and surreal textures. The biggest surprises are the Beck-like “Sea Legs,” which fuses acoustic guitar, an underground hip-hop beat, strings and synth, and “Split Needles,” which has a woozy, electro flavor reminiscent of Duran Duran’s darker moments. Regardless of the musical backdrop, James Mercer’s one-of-a-kind chirp still climbs to impressive heights and simultaneously pierces and soothes.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Sea Legs”; “Australia”
Medium Rotation tracks: “A Comet Appears”; “Girl Sailor”; “Split Needles”; “Turn On Me”
Explicit Lyrics*: none
Recommended: Don’t let the lovely-but-lackluster first single “Phantom Limb” taint your view of The Shins. Yes, it was a weak track to reintroduce the band after over three years, but no, they haven’t lost it. Like Chutes Too Narrow, the subtle and complex beauty of Wincing The Night Away takes a few listens to reveal itself. Give it time and have some patience, the second half is more consistent than the first.
Grade: A- (Top 20 Albums of 2007 Candidate)

Hear The Shins in rotation on

Listen to Tracks/Buy Music:
On iTunes

* Noting of explicit lyrics is for the benefit of radio music directors or anyone else that needs/wants to keep their music FCC-friendly.

2 Responses to “The Shins Wincing the Night Away (Sub Pop)”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Based on your review – I hit your iTunes link and bought the album. How\’s that for trust?

    I super like this album. The group is brand new to me – so I went in totally blind on this, not sure what to expect and I think I\’ve played it at least half a dozen times since yesterday. At this time \”Sea Legs\” is my fav. track – – that could change in an hour, though.

    I got The Bird and The Bee, too – and am having a good time with that one. My favorite is \”My F-cking Boyfriend\” – its just fun and twisted enough to play it over a few times in a row.

    Thank you for the recommendations, Dave!

  2. Dave Says:

    Thanks for having faith in my picks and for supporting New Music Nation by using the iTunes link. “Sea Legs” is my favorite on The Shins album, too.

    “My F-cking Boyfriend” is a pretty catchy and fun tune. It definitely deserves repeated listens.

    I hope those albums are helping you cope (at least a little bit) with your pressing deadline.

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