The Shins - what is their best?

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The Shins - what is their best?

Postby Spec » 16 Jan 2009, 16:28

I think I would go for

Image

but really like Oh Inverted World too.

How about you?

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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby Clarkophile » 16 Jan 2009, 16:38

Wincing the Night Away gets better and better as time passes. I disliked it immensely at the time of its release, but I now view it as a marked change in tone from what preceded it. It is their dark album.


In terms of finest moments, 'Saint Simon' is about as perfect as you can get.

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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby Deebank » 16 Jan 2009, 16:54

Clarkophile wrote:Wincing the Night Away gets better and better as time passes. I disliked it immensely at the time of its release, but I now view it as a marked change in tone from what preceded it. It is their dark album.


In terms of finest moments, 'Saint Simon' is about as perfect as you can get.


Totally agree - 'Wincing' is on first experiencing a really odd bunch of tunes, but as they grow on you - and they do, as Clarkophile says - the whole becomes more coherent and compelling.

I now think it's their most accomplished work. And once again the lyrics are fantastic, Mercer is something of a genius in my book.
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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby king feeb » 16 Jan 2009, 16:59

I like the first one best, but Chutes Too Narrow has some of their best pop.

Wasn't too taken by Wincing The Night Away... maybe I should re-evaluate at some time, but it failed to hook me in on early listenings...
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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby Clarkophile » 16 Jan 2009, 16:59

goldwax wrote:
Clarkophile wrote:Wincing the Night Away gets better and better as time passes. I disliked it immensely at the time of its release, but I now view it as a marked change in tone from what preceded it. It is their dark album.


In terms of finest moments, 'Saint Simon' is about as perfect as you can get.


OK, you've reminded me that it took me about five plays to start liking Wincing. I haven't listened to it in ages, so I'd only remembered my initial negative opinion. Methinks I need to do a Shins marathon this weekend!


What happened with me was I'd hear a song from Wincing every now and then when I was playing a shuffle, and hearing it out of context like that had the effect of rejuvenating my interest in it.

It just occurred to me that dark stuff isn't totally unheard of with them. The closing track on the first album---what is it, 'The Past & Pending'?--and B-sides like 'Sphagnum Esplanade' are similarly dark.

I think what bugged me about Wincing the most was the fact they let the drummer cool his heels and used fake drums for a few of the songs. He's no genius on the kit, but I like his style. It's very quirky. Reminds me of 1960's drummers who kind of fell into the job, like Michael Clarke and Dennis Wilson. Not technically great, but I know 'em when I hear them. :) I like that personal stamp on albums, especially when lots of things today sound so mechanized.

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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby lividlunch » 16 Jan 2009, 18:57

I'm gonna say my favorite is Chutes. But I have a soft spot for some stuff off of Inverted World.

Wincing doesn't make my favorite record by far, but "Phantom Limb" on its own blows me away every time I hear it...

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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby charliebigpotatoes » 16 Jan 2009, 19:20

specbebop wrote:I think I would go for

Image

but really like Oh Inverted World too.

How about you?


Oh thats the one for me. First one i bought then saw them Leeds Festival 04 and they were fucking brilliant. The other albums dont do it for me the way this one does im not keen on them at all.
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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby Balboa » 16 Jan 2009, 19:21

specbebop wrote:I think I would go for

Image

but really like Oh Inverted World too.

How about you?


'Chutes' is their best - great songs, great production, doesn't overstay it's welcome. It really is a great album, and I wish they had followed it up quicker (Django!) as I think it would have made for a better album than 'Wincing'. The latter was OK I guess, but failed to really capture my imagination.

'Oh Inverted World' is great too - like an old familiar friend when I listen.
Of course, I was mostly stoned at the time.

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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby Brin » 16 Jan 2009, 21:49

'Wincing' is one of the very few latter day albums that i really enjoy and can comfortably play all the way through.
Its excellent.
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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby Beno » 16 Jan 2009, 21:55

Chutes is definitely their best. Wincing though is not that far away and it too is a great album. Oh Inverted World is the one I don't really get. With the Shins I guess I'm looking for cracking tunes, not lo-fi murkiness.

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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby bixhenry » 16 Jan 2009, 22:21

Beno wrote:Chutes is definitely their best. Wincing though is not that far away and it too is a great album. Oh Inverted World is the one I don't really get. With the Shins I guess I'm looking for cracking tunes, not lo-fi murkiness.


Exactly my opinion, though 'New Slang' is as good as their best work.

The Shins are probably my favorite band of the decade so far, and they tower above the cesspool that is indie-rock.
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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby Balboa » 21 Jan 2009, 20:50

Balboa wrote:
'Chutes' is their best - great songs, great production, doesn't overstay it's welcome. It really is a great album, and I wish they had followed it up quicker (Django!) as I think it would have made for a better album than 'Wincing'. The latter was OK I guess, but failed to really capture my imagination.

'Oh Inverted World' is great too - like an old familiar friend when I listen.


Well blow me down! I have been listening to 'Wincing' in the car this week - it's way better than I thought. An interesting one where the second half od the CD is better than the first! Who knew?

He's a good songwriter isn't he - sometimes his melodies can get a bit samey, but on the whole he seems to have the classic songwriting style down pretty good.
Of course, I was mostly stoned at the time.

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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby Molony » 21 Jan 2009, 20:54

specbebop wrote:I think I would go for

Image

but really like Oh Inverted World too.

How about you?


That would be my choice too.

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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby Clarkophile » 21 Jan 2009, 21:19

Beno wrote:Chutes is definitely their best. Wincing though is not that far away and it too is a great album. Oh Inverted World is the one I don't really get. With the Shins I guess I'm looking for cracking tunes, not lo-fi murkiness.


The murk is part of the charm on that one. Gotta have the murk. :)

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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby The Write Profile » 21 Jan 2009, 23:02

Balboa wrote:
Balboa wrote:
'Chutes' is their best - great songs, great production, doesn't overstay it's welcome. It really is a great album, and I wish they had followed it up quicker (Django!) as I think it would have made for a better album than 'Wincing'. The latter was OK I guess, but failed to really capture my imagination.

'Oh Inverted World' is great too - like an old familiar friend when I listen.


Well blow me down! I have been listening to 'Wincing' in the car this week - it's way better than I thought. An interesting one where the second half od the CD is better than the first! Who knew?

He's a good songwriter isn't he - sometimes his melodies can get a bit samey, but on the whole he seems to have the classic songwriting style down pretty good.


Yeah, Wincing the Night Away is the one that grew on me the most. Perhaps there's a fussiness there that the other records didn't have- certainly there were times when both the production and songwriting seemed slightly overworked, especially compared to the conciseness of Chutes too Narrow. But by the same token, it's also their most varied and expansive release, and many of the songs- the droning "Sleeping Lessons", the chiming "Australia" and the melodic twists and turns of "Phantom Limb" and "Turn on Me"- were up there with their best.

Chutes Too Narrow is their most consistent, for sure, though- and I love the way the record sounds just pared back to the melodic essentials, there's absolutely no flab on the record whatsoever. What's more, I saw them live around the release of the record and they were just magic- Mercer cuts a surprisingly engaging figure onstage, while the rest of the band really listen to oneanother.

Oh Inverted World splits the difference between the other two, I feel- not least because its production is way too muffled and uncertain, which means that some of the best songs on it sound like they were recorded in an oildrum. That said, the standout moments- "Know Your Onion," "New Slang," "Caring is Creepy"-manage to rise above the murk and have a strange dreamlike quality.

I just wish they would record their material a lot faster, myself. 3 records in a decade isn't exactly the most productive output rate. Hell, the Smiths managed twice that output in half the time, and that's not including their standalone singles!
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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby Deebank » 22 Jan 2009, 10:42

bixhenry wrote:
The Shins are probably my favorite band of the decade so far, and they tower above the cesspool that is indie-rock.



WORD.
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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby Clarkophile » 22 Jan 2009, 12:43

The RightGraduate Profile wrote: I just wish they would record their material a lot faster, myself. 3 records in a decade isn't exactly the most productive output rate. Hell, the Smiths managed twice that output in half the time, and that's not including their standalone singles!

This is my big problem with the band. But I suppose the wait is tolerable if we keep getting records of such good quality. Three straight winners, in my book.

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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby brassneck.. » 22 Jan 2009, 13:13

bixhenry wrote:
Beno wrote:Chutes is definitely their best. Wincing though is not that far away and it too is a great album. Oh Inverted World is the one I don't really get. With the Shins I guess I'm looking for cracking tunes, not lo-fi murkiness.


Exactly my opinion, though 'New Slang' is as good as their best work.



Thirded. If i had bought Oh Inverted World first i may well not have bothered with the others.

I've seen them twice and found them on the dull side.

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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby Goat Boy » 22 Jan 2009, 13:19

Chutes Too Narrow is their best. The most consistent anyway but Wincing The Night Away is a slow burning grower. If only they'd pull their fingers out and release more albums they'd be wonderful.
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Re: The Shins - what is their best?

Postby Mr Maps » 23 Jan 2009, 02:40

I have the early incarnation of the band when they recorded as Flake Music if anyone has a frog in their throat.
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