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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 21 January 2007
I have been an avid listener of the Shins for the last year. A friend showed me 'new slang' so I went and bought 'Oh, inverted world'. I was not dissapointed by the first album effort of this American indie band. So I bought the second album, 'Chutes too narrow' and again enjoyed it thoughroughly.

Similarly, I was not dissapointed by the 3rd album. This album takes you on a journey which involves so much music skill and vocal/lyrical talent that you believe these guys have been given divine insparation. When the first song of the album, 'sleeping lessons', commences, it seems that the shins have taken a step down from their up beat acoustic guitar and simple precussion. But ths song has two different halfs and the shins we know and love kick in soon with some fast drum beats and strumming.

From the songs that follow, the main highlights would have to be 'Australia', 'Sea legs', 'Turn on me' and 'Split needles'. The other songs are also brilliant but these ones in particular stand out. I was suprised to find out that the song, 'Phantom limb' was the single. To which I believe this is one of the weakest songs on the album, compared to the others.

The lyrics are a definite highlight of the album for me as they constantly have one guessing as to what they mean, "It's like I'm pushed on the handle-bars, of a blind mans bike." But you know they must mean something so you continue to ponder.

I look forward to seeing these guys in england in the summer. Get this album whether you're a fan of the Shins or not, because this is great music.

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on 30 January 2007
It must be alittle bit depressing for the Shins to write new songs, as every time a comparison has to be made to utter perfection that is "New Slang". As with Chutes Too Narrow, there is nothing here that reaches the perfect heights of this track, but there are numerous other highlights.

It takes a couple of listens before every song makes sense. But perservere and there is a lovely album here.

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on 18 March 2015
it might grow
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on 29 January 2007
First of all - I love the Shins!

I find that with any band that has released a classic CD that the follow up can be in its shadow, I am pleased to report the following the sublime 'Chute too Narrow' that The Shins have produced a worthy follow up, and, all credit to them, it's not more of the same.

I recommend that you save up your pennies and buy this cd now!
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on 21 January 2007
This one had to be different - and it is , and then it isn't. Yes , the songs are slower , darker and well , produced. But they are classic Shins all the way through (Mercer's singing will see to that). And any album that has a song like Australia on it is worth a thousand James Morrissons (Yes James , this is how it should be done)
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on 29 April 2016
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on 23 April 2007
This album was recommended to me by a friend who said that she was sure i could not help but smile when i listened to it. She was 100% right. I had never heard of The Shins before this, except from the whole Garden State connection, and now I spend ever waking hour searching for and buying their back catalogue. It is hard to describe their album as anything but 'nice'. Tracks that stand out for me are Phnatom Limbs and Australia, but also the track Red Rabbits, which sounds like it could have been plucked from the film the BFG! I recommend this album to anyone who needs perking up a bit, and who wants to be baffled and amazed by decent guitars, lovely male voices and random, beautiful lyrics.
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on 4 September 2009
I heard 'Phantom Limb' on the radio (August 2009) and decided to track down the CD. Bad mistake.
So, what's all the fuss about? This is an album that just didn't do anything for me and I decided, after
several plays in the car, in at least an attempt to enjoy it, to reject the product to the refuse. Poor song writing, (albeit a few catchy choruses) generally dull material Can't even be bothered to re-sell
to some poor soul on Amazon Marketplace. Perhaps I'm out of sync with other reviews but in my opinion it's Emperor's new clothes.
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on 28 January 2007
Let's just say this first, this really isn't a bad album - far from it. The music's pleasant enough throughout, but as this is one of the bands talked about as becoming very big in 2007....well on the evidence of this I don't see it happening.

You can really see where the influences come from here. Apparently singer/songwriter James Mercer spent time as a kid in the UK in the 80s. He absorbed a lot of the music from the early 80s from the sound of this. Trouble is I'm not sure the early 80s was one of the vintage eras of music. In fact as I seem to remember it, it was the point at which music began to take a big dive. I hope to God people aren't trying to resurrect it!

I guess "Wincing The Night Away" could be described as 'sub-Cure' pop. However, there are good tracks on the album as well. They tend to be the slower, downbeat parts in the second half. For me the first half and particularly the first two tracks ("Sleeping Lessons" and "Australia") are too remorselssly upbeat (saying that, they're just the type of music I can see hitting the singles/download charts). These tracks sound like they should have been released in summer and I wonder if this is coming out a little at the wrong time of year (January's always a bitch of a month - are we ready for upbeat yet?). The Shins sound rather like The Guillemots last year but just not as convincing. The album picks up later with "Sea Legs", "Black wave" and "Spilt Needles" and in fact these are good songs but not outstanding.

Overall it just seems that I've heard all this before - about 25 years ago in fact. It's pleasant enough, like I say, but it just doesn't break the mould. I can't see this breaking The Shins into the really big time. they need to be a little more adventurous and a little less poppy for me to take notice.

Good - but not brilliantly so! (6/10)
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