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Shins, the / Chutes Too Narrow
Album:Chutes Too Narrow Collection:General
Artist:Shins, the Added:11/2003
Label:Sub Pop Records 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2003-11-17 Pull Date:2004-01-19 
Week Ending:25 Jan18 Jan11 Jan28 Dec21 Dec14 Dec30 Nov23 Nov
Airplays:15323454

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Album Review
Eric K!
Reviewed 2003-11-10 
Great! For those of you not in the know, the Shins make ambitious British-sounding power-pop. Obvious comparisons are the Left Banke, the Zombies, the Beach Boys, Big Star, the Pernice Brothers, and the Elephant 6 bands. Singer James Mercer is possessed of a breathy and pure Colin Blunstonesque voice which is used to great effect here. The songs are extraordinary catchy with clever and heartfelt, yet abstract lyrics.
For those of you who are wondering, this album is not a repeat of their classic debut _Oh, Inverted World_. This is a much more understated and orchestrated album recalling the Left Banke ("Walk Away, Renee") where _OIW_ recalled Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys. James Mercer tries his hand at singer-songwriter style folk (4, 7, 10) and the result is a little too laid-back for my taste. Still the power-pop rockers (2, 3) are here
(and still stuck in my head). The Shins also do their quirky takes on country (9) and garage-rock (6,8) to great effect.

Stand-out tracks: 2, 3, 5, 8, 9

1. A little too indie-pop for me, reminiscent of their work as Flake music
2. Super-catchy, acoustic guitar driven, neat organ. moving, obscure lyrics
3. The single! Electrified swagger, driven, great chorus with weird treated background effects
4. Folky, subdued, sweet. Heartfelt abstract lyrics
5. Catchy, sing-a-long. Oldies R&B-style rhythm guitar, quirky vibraphone(?), medieval-sounding interlude, very Left Banke
6. Rocking, garagey with muted guitar and organ, great chorus, harmonica
7. folky, winding organ, sad, very mellow
8. garagey beat, catchy, clever lyrics, story of attraction, "Just a glimpse of an ankle and I react like it's 1805."
9. So cute, the Shins try country. Great pedal steel.
10. Subdued, clever. A little too mellow.

Track Listing
1.Kissing the Lipless 6.Fighting in a Sack
2.Mine's not a High Horse 7.Pink Bullets
3.So Says I 8.Turn a Square
4.Young Pilgrims 9.Gone for Good
5.Saint Simon 10.Those to Come