I like the new Shins album. I finally got around to reading Seattle Weekly’s feature from January about The Shins and how they have helped Sub Pop move out of the grunge era. The article even credits The Shins with attracting quite a few other bands to the label. One snippet I found amusing:
The record the Shins have made, Wincing the Night Away, is a boldly produced, sonically dense record that stretches the band’s retro pop sound into broader, spacier territory. Anyone looking for the jangly, Brian Wilson-esque numbers of Chutes Too Narrow will need to check their expectations at the door.
While I agree that this album is more complex than the first two, I still hear Brian Wilson all over it. The first time I heard “Phantom Limb” (on KEXP via my alarm clock one morning) I actually wondered whether it was The Beach Boys, but it also reminded me of The Shins and then I remembered that a new Shins album was imminent. The Beach Boys comparison had never even occurred to me with Chutes Too Narrow, which the reviewer seems to think was the more Brian Wilson-esque album.
And “Pam Berry” sounds like Travis to me.
P.S. The 6-CD changer in my car broke last spring (fortunately it was under warranty). I took it to the dealer to get it repaired, which they did very quickly and for free, and when I got my car back the CDs that had been inside the changer were mysteriously gone. No one at the dealership seemed to know anything about it. One of those CDs was Chutes Too Narrow, which I still need to replace. Grrrr. Thank god for Rhapsody.