Hymns is a bit of a grower. Its a chamber pop, lo-fi reunion several years after the first album that was beloved by many (18 years to be precise). Listening to this you realise a lot has happened in music over that period. The Shins and other have followed the ideas here and what was fresh then isn't so fresh now. So going back and doing the whole thing again needs a bit more than rehashing old territory. And that's why this may feel a disappointment to some. Its reminiscent of so much else. The guitars, harmonies, piano and horns work well to deliver clever pop music despite that.
There are some great moments here. Love Like Rain is a pop song that will stick for some time. Radio Birdman works as a closer as it has harmony and lyrics. However, there are other moments where it doesn't work as well, for me general Hospital drags a little too much.
There is enough here for someone who likes chamber pop to be well rewarded. It certainly has enough moments that leave you going back and listening again. However, it almost feels like a missed opportunity at times as well.