The time has come to write about my favorite group, The Shins. If you haven’t heard of The Shins, don’t assume they are another “The” band like The Strokes, The Thrills, The Stills, The White Stripes, The Vines, The Stills, etc. In my opinion, this band is better than all of them.
The Shins’ songwriting is incredible. The phrasing is curious and the melodies are inventive without sounding awkward. The poetry is rewarding, and never stoops too the level of ready for radio simplicity. The lyrics remain eerie even when upbeat, and the delivery is honest and magical. The production is so clean that it is easy to miss how layered and complex the arrangements actually are.
On the design side, Chutes Too Narrow is very cool. The cut paper illustration is fun, and the liner notes have a cool die-cut and spot varnish. Not that I need any additional candy too enjoy them, though.