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Chutes Too Narrow
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Chutes Too Narrow

21 Oct. 2003 | Format: MP3

£7.90 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for £5.99 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 21 Oct. 2003
  • Release Date: 21 Oct. 2003
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • Copyright: 2003 Sub Pop Records
  • Total Length: 33:46
  • Genres:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,068 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Minato on 4 Jun. 2006
Format: Audio CD
The hype surrounding this band is huge, and I have to admit that I didn't really understand why when I first listened to them. The music is so subtle, the melodies are so original that on first listen the sheer brilliance of this album passed me by. It was only after about a month of listening to it that I realised how deep it had worked its way into my brain. The playing is simple, yet simultaneously richly layered and textured - if that sounds like a contradiction I apologise!

For anyone who has not yet heard anything by The Shins, they could be described as folky-poppy-indie-rock, a lazy grouping of words that utterly fails to describe the sort of rich, beautiful, sparkling songs that this band makes.

Unlike on their first album (Oh, Inverted World) where the songs were drenched in an almost psychedelic wash of reverb, feedback and studio trickery, here the production is crystal clear. All the instruments are allowed their space so that the beautifully subtle playing is (I feel) more effective and powerful than on the debut. James Mercer's gorgeously nuanced vocals are particularly well served by the production, sitting right in the centre of the mix, every subtle inflection clear to the listener.

For me, standout tracks are hard to choose on an album so brilliantly constructed. Other reviewers have pointed out their favourite tracks, so I will just pick one that doesn't seem to have been mentioned yet - Mine's Not a High Horse. This track, like all the others features beautiful melodies, excellent instrumentation and unusual but wonderful lyrics. What makes it stand out for me? That solo guitar in the can a few notes, plucked so sparringly, carry such emotional weight?!

This album is so well written, so well played, and so full of light and energy that I challenge anyone not to fall for its charms, assuming they give it the time it deserves.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "" on 30 July 2004
Format: Audio CD
everything i heard about the shins before hearing this album seemed to portray them as a quirky, odd, 'indie' band. this all may be true, but it somehow makes them sound like an exclusive underground thing. their music, however deserves a much wider audience. after a few months of owning this album, i can confidently say that it is the best pop album of the last 5 years. singer james mercer is without doubt the latest in a line of brilliant american songwriters, from brian wilson over black francis and rivers cuomo. the ten songs featured here are beautiful and uplifting, each single one has a brilliant melody.
track by track:
1. kissing the lipless: a low key opener, a grower rather than an attention grabber. starts with a strummed acoustic guitar and then almost turns into a full on emo-rocker. but not quite. 8/10
2. mine's not a high horse: a subtle yet insisting melody, nice keyboard arpeggios in the chorus. 8/10
3. so says i: a full on jangly guitar rocker, also the first single. very enthusiastic singing and great guitars just make me wanna get up and do something. the lyrics are basically a big telling off for man "we are a brutal kind". 9/10
4. a relaxed acoustic number, once again a fantastic melody and cool lyrics. 8/10
5. saint simon: the stand out track, an absolutely stunning piece of music. a beautifully sung hauntuing melody against a complex, lush musical background; the best song of the century. 10/10
6. turn a square: a rockier number guaranteed to put a smile on yer face: "a glimpse of her ankle and i, react like it's 1805" 7/10
7. pink bullets: another amazing song. the lyrics are pure poetry, the song itself is a thing of true beauty. a simple acoustic guitar and a lovely guitar line; 10/10
Read more ›
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Nov. 2003
Format: Audio CD
On the Shins' debut album, 2001's "Oh, Inverted World", singer James Mercer's voice was hidden beneath a summery haze. While the songs on that album received comparisons to those of both the Beach Boys and Simon and Garfunkel, the melodies Mercer span were suppressed only by the layers of sound which buried his voice. On "Chutes Too Narrow", the band’s second album, the haze is gone. Mercer's voice is clear and the tales he tells are as full of vivid imagery as the songs are full of hooks. The lyrics here are intelligent and heartfelt, each and every song brilliantly written. The album reaches a peak in “Gone for good”, in which Mercer sings, over a steady rhythm section and some well-placed blasts of pedal steel, “I found a fatal flaw/In the logic of love”. And then, after less than 35 minutes, it’s all over, leaving us to hope that the next album won’t be long coming - and in the meantime, to play this one again. Over and over again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The Big Man on 20 May 2004
Format: Audio CD
I won't give 5 star ratings cheaply but this album is worth it. Its largely excellent throughout; the best songs though are 'Kissing the Lipless' and 'Gone for Good' in particular. The tunes are beautifully melodic, the vocals pitch perfect, the songwriting in particular is of an unusually high standard; the lyrics are poetic but not too obscure in meaning; makes a welcome difference to some indie songwriters, i.e. Coldplay.
I've seen this compared to 'The Thrills' album somewhere, which is right to some extent, but this is definitely better: no whiningly annoying filler songs to flick past thank God. The only annoying thing is the very short running time of the album, just over 30 minutes of music, but the loss in length is (more or less) traded off against the high quality of the songs.
It's also just as good as 'Oh, Inverted World', if you've heard that album before, again by The Shins. Barring a small miracle, not too many people will hear of The Shins in Britain, but if you're into this sort of stuff then you will definitely like The Shins.
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