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4.7 out of 5 stars
33
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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VINE VOICEon 11 June 2004
So it would appear to be my job to play devils advocate to a certain degree anyway. Every other review on this page has lauded this album to the high heavens and while I agree that it does contain some wonderful songs and moments of transcendental beauty its not a five star album, for that virtually every song has to be worthy of note in some way and too many songs on "Chutes too Narrow" are mundane indie by numbers. This band reminds me a lot of Shudder to Think, another group with a penchant for mercurial guitars and plaintive high vocals. One of the problems I have with The Shins is that James Mercers vocals can sound a little strained, that's not necessarily a bad thing but when your vocals are as falsetto as his to start with...... On "So Says You" he comes a little too close to Darkness territory than is healthy. While "Saint Simon" has some pleasant buoyant strings and mellifluous backing vocals the strident lead vocals let it down. "Fighting in a Sack" is the sort of grey moribund drizzle that bands like Thousand Yard Stare made a career of.
However when they do get it right, and they get it right more often than not on this album, and when they add some esoteric element to their basic sound and take the hysteric edge off Mercers vocals then you can understand why everyone else has got excited about this band. "Mines not a High Horse" benefits from a wonderfully spooky Moog and plangent melody. "Kissing the Lipless" is a well constructed if otherwise unremarkable song lacking a killer hook line or vivacious melodic punch..A Single lovely concordant guitar carry's "Young Pilgrim" backed by a breezily strummed acoustic and a poised vocal from Mercer. "Pink Bullets" is a replica track but even better, with a gorgeous dulcet tune and wonderful lachrymose lyrics. The restrained organ backing and brief harmonica add an extra layer of keening ardour. "Turn a Square" mutates it's choppy rhythmic verse into a sky scraping chorus while "Gone for Good" revels in wonderful silvery pedal steel. The superb acquiescent ballad "Those to Come" closes the album in a shiver of carefully plucked guitar notes and phased out keyboards.
This band definitely has a five star album in them. It may even be their debut "Oh Inverted world" which I have never heard but which I would very much like to. But this isn't it. But for anyone considering checking them out I would still recommend it highly as there is enough startlingly good music in " Chutes Too Narrow" to make it rewarding listening. Narrow or not it's worth taking the ride.
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on 18 January 2015
Sharp and bouncy music which is great to sing along to in the car.
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on 11 December 2006
This album is great. It reminds me of growing up although I'm not really sure why. Can't put my finger on it. The lyrics are a tad on the strange side but I always find that you can remember them a lot easier if that is the case. Weird. Everyone should own this CD.
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on 12 January 2006
BUY THIS ALBUM.
Tis' all i have to say.
If you though inverted world was a tad dull(with the exception of those key 'Garden State' tracks) Then 'Chutes Too Narrow' does everything you wish the first album did, constantly good throughout and the lyrics and guitar melodys linger in your head for days on end.
Just like a Shins album should.
This should have won tonnes of awards by now, but somehow it's brilliance is the fact that it is not mainstream here in the UK.
Ironic since i'm begging for you to buy this album.
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on 20 May 2015
simply awsome! nice booklet
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on 31 August 2015
Great album. Love it.
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on 22 December 2015
Awesome compact disc.
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on 3 December 2014
Brilliant record.
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on 21 January 2016
fab fab fab
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on 25 June 2015
Vg
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