Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Shins -- Wincing the Night Away

WHAM!I've been guilty of numerous cliches in my lifetime, one of which being "so and so changed my life." (Insert Radiohead, Elliott Smith and Wham! here)

The Shins (whether it be good or bad) have been made famous - for the most part - by being the "so and so" in that aforementioned equation, thanks to Zach Braff and Natalie Portman. And while they're not changing my life by any stretch, they're still a solid indie rock band.

That said, the New Mexico quartet's 3rd effort Wincing The Night Away is an adequate and consistent, if not safe, record. Unfortunately its "consistency" may also be its biggest flaw.

No, not old Mexico, NEW MEXICOFirst track "Sleeping Lessons" is a highlight (if not apex); the song crescendos into a driving rock gem and acts as a perfect opener, despite lacking a true chorus. The song is a bit of a microcosm of Wincing The Night Away - many songs are borderline great.

Single "Phantom Limb" is as catchy as anything on their previous album, 2003's near-masterpiece Chutes Too Narrow; probably because it features the same progression as "Mine's Not A High Horse." In fact, there are similar qualities to this record that occur (though not as blantantly) throughout the record - "Girl Sailor"She's no Portman and "Turn On Me" also resemble that same quirky shuffle of much of The Shins' previous work, without eclipsing the brilliance of "Saint Simon" or "New Slang."

And while there's definitely no shame in playing it safe, The Shins aren't going to be changing lives anytime soon in doing so.

Rating: 3/5


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Blogger Adam said...

Peabs changed my life!

12:22 PM  
Blogger Gorilla said...


1:38 PM  

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