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Oh, Inverted World

4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Aug. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop Records
  • ASIN: B00005JSHW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,270 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product description

Amazon.co.uk

Oh, Inverted World, the sun-baked debut album from Albuquerque indie quartet The Shins, signposts a fascinating change of direction for Sub Pop Records. Back in the early 90s, bands like Nirvana and Mudhoney made the name synonymous with the dark, angst-ridden grunge sound. Now, it would seem, Sub Pop wears a flower in its hair. The florid harmonies and bucolic acoustics of "Caring Is Creepy" and "Know Your Onion" bring to mind a vision of the verdant hills and gleaming bays of California that's remained largely dormant since The Beach Boys hung up their surfboards: a sound that's undeniably nostalgic, but so vividly realised and perfectly recorded it seems almost churlish to mention it. It's not all simple sunshine pop, either: the delicate, melancholy spaghetti western strum of "New Slang" recalls the barren desertscapes of Ennio Morricone, while the shadowy, monastic vocals and trilling cellos of "Your Algebra" provide a chilling two minutes of commendably dark psychedelia. Sure, it might have one foot in the past but Oh, Inverted World sounds like a fresh start for Sub Pop--one that drowns out the muddy roar of grunge with the hum of good vibrations. --Louis Pattison

Customer Reviews

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What is there to be said about this album? Well, a heck of a lot really, but rather than go into great detail about its many fine points, I'll leave you to discover them for yourselves. Let me just say that this album is perfect summer easy-listening, a record full of breezy, melodic and occasionally haunting tunes. Lead singer James Mercer's soft voice is easy on the ears as are the poetic lyrics which he writes. There are literally no weak tracks - with the exception of spooky interlude "your algebra" which isn't really a song anyway. Standouts include the excellent opener "Caring is creepy" and the beautiful accoustic strum of "New Slang". It is easy to see how the vocal harmonies could draw comparisons to the Beach Boys or Simon and Garfunkel and while the Shins are unlikely to achieve the same level of recognition, they will remain one of modern music's best kept secrets.
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Format: Audio CD
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?
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By A Customer on 10 Aug. 2005
Format: Audio CD
The Shins are an innovative band, blending traditional indie rythms with an experimental use of reverberated and distorted melodies and stretched vocals. The prequel to 'Chutes too Narrow', 'Oh,Inverted World' is full of echoed chants, drifting melodies and lazy-afternoon lyrics. If you're looking for sing-along anthems then this is perhaps not the album for you (try 'Chutes too Narrow') but 'Oh, Inverted World' is the perfect Sunday soundtrack.
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Format: Audio CD
The mysteriously titled "Oh, Inverted World" is an excitingly unique album. Released in a time when artists are shamelessly making their influences almost as obvious as the inevitably comparisons that their work will draw, The Shins' latest offering presents a musical paradox and a refreshing change. Both timeless and modern, "Oh, Inverted World" has a familiar sound while drawing no obvious parallels with any other album. At times The Shins sound like a band from the 60's, with occasional and subtle contempoary connections. Every track is melodic and unique and, although apparently unexciting on first listen, "Oh, Inverted World" is hypnotic and soon begins to invade the listeners consciousness. The simple guitar melodies and softly sung vocals complement each other perfectly, contributing to a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding album.
Stand-out tracks are the catchy opener "Caring Is Creepy" with its lyrically excellent chorus, dark and intimidating "Your Algebra" and the highlight of the album, the fantastic "New Slang", with its relaxed lazy summer evening feel. The video for "New Slang" also features on the CD. Don't be put off with the pop label, this is an intelligent album perfect for relieving the tedium of the latest crazes for stripped down 70's rock, Brit-band indie and American pop-punk.
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Format: Audio CD
The Shins make great pop music. All of the songs on this album have a bright, catchy appeal. They are laid back but refreshingly original. My particular stand-out tracks are Caring is Creepy, Know Yr Onion!, New Slang, Girl on the Wing and Pressed in a Book. The only one I skip is the befuddling Your Algebra.

As well as the quality music, James Mercer's lyrics are a delight in themselves. Lines like 'a luscious mix of words and tricks' or 'no icicles stuck in my hide' show what an inventive lyricist he is. A pity you cannot always discern the words in the songs, but the CD jacket has them printed.

Chutes Too Narrow is the more accessable album so you may want to start your Shins experience there, but this is still amazing and well worth your money.
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Format: Audio CD
On hearing this for the first time I wasn't sure what the hell I was listening to!
The first thing that strikes you is the production-the whole record has such an eerie veneer-as if The Zombies had composed the soundtrack to a long forgotten horror film.
The sixties references are easy to spot,from The Kinks to the above mentioned Zombies.Then as these nuggets of psych-pop wormed their way into my brain I stopped playing spot the influence and started to enjoy this great record. For lovers of Elephant 6/ Kinks/ Zombies and the first Simian album.
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