I feel like The Shins (and specifically Wincing the Night Away, more specifically even "Sleeping Lessons" & "Girl Sailor") were the soundtrack to my life from 16 - 18 so they meant something special. I never held them in high regard as anything but story tellers that helped me through pimples, heartbreaks, drinking in the forest, etc. It was never like when I would listen to The White Stripes during the same time and say, "Fucking Jack White. He's a genius." James Mercer just is...well he's a lot of things but he's no Jack White.
Anyway, I had to see them at Coachella to finally say I saw them and the journey from adolescence into full blown adulthood was complete. They were Snoozechella but it was sentimental and wonderful. I still love some of those albums and Port of Morrow is good but it doesn't speak to me like WTNA or CTN did. I mean...it's a B+. I think taken out of the context of life's implications - The Shins are always just a 3.3 GPA.
Last Edit: May 13, 2012 15:50:40 GMT -8 by doorlopen
Sorry ya'll, but Chutes Too Narrow is a timeless and pretty much flawless pop record, and it was also the jumping off point for a whole wave of similar-minded artists for the last almost ten years. Wincing the Night Away and Port of Morrow are mere shades of its glory, and though I have a profound personal relationship with it, Oh, Inverted World is a bold and nearly-realized promise of Chutes Too Narrow's near-perfection.
Don't mistake James Mercer's current business-like deliberation in making records with the energy and earnestness of genesis in those songs back then. It's incomparable.
I know that we're talking about opinions here, but I can't overstate how emphatically positive I am of this particular opinion.
Post by Horned Gramma on May 13, 2012 19:13:02 GMT -8
I absolutely agree with drew on this. Anymore, they're just some band. But they really meant something from 2001-2004. It's easy to forget that, but they were not only hugely popular but HUGELY influential.
Oh, Inverted World is really nostalgic for me. It was my first real favorite album. I listen to it now and it reminds me of when I started getting so excited about music (early high school), and how it changed who I hung out with and what I did. So in that sense it's my favorite. But Chutes Too Narrow was like your favorite band putting out an album that you didn't think could be as good as it is. That was massive. I've never been that satisfied with a new album, I don't think.
Anyway, back to reality, I'll be skipping the Shins for St. Vincent.
I think the reasons the Shins were popular in 2001-2004 were because there was such a vacuous space in music back then. They were good in those years but not great. There just wasn't much better than them at the time and so they became very popular by default.
I like the Shins and am really sentimental toward those first two albums too, but just because you personally feel tied to a record doesn't make it amazing.