I don't want to hype this band too much but I wish they'd tour England! Having said that, would their live presence spoil my image of them lazing around on a sunny afternoon smoking, sipping cups of tea and reading from picture books and listening to various pet sounds. Yes, it's true that there are some obvious influences on this album: the Beach Boys is the most obvious, but there are very definite shades of The Kinks, Simon & Garfunkel, Pavement, REM and Blur. Many have said the standout track is "New Slang" and I'd have to agree - it's beautiful in every way. "Know your onion!", "Caring is creepy" and "Pressed in a book" all jump out at the listener too, but this is very much an album to listen to as a whole and just unwind too. The indie kids shouldn't be expecting to bounce around their Kinesis and Hundred Reasons CD-strewn bedrooms to "Oh, Inverted World", but those appreciating a simple melody, and the vocals of a guy, James Mercer, who you are left convinced wouldn't say boo to a goose, would truly adore this masterpiece. I bought this CD on the strength of purely stumbling across The Shins on the internet and reading some very favourable reviews. I've heard the new album is even better. Guess what my next purchase will be?