Friday, August 21, 2009

CD Odyssey Disc 22: The Shins

It has been a tough week of CD Odyssey. Firstly, I haven't enjoyed knowing what CD is next (having had to roll 8 in advance before the CDs were packed away for home renos). Second, the renovations have sapped all my free time, making keeping up a little difficult. This weekend I will catch up.

And in that process, "indie rock" (whatever that is) makes its first appearance.

Disc 22 is...Oh, Inverted World

Artist: The Shins

Year of Release: 2001

How I Came To Know It: Sheila and I discovered the Shins simultaneously when they were the musical act on Saturday Night Live. We really liked them. Although "Oh, Inverted World" is their first album, it was the last one to join the collection.

How It Stacks Up: We have all 3 Shins albums. I have to say I really like the other two, but this one is the worst of the bunch.

Rating: 2 stars with a thumbs up.

I am not a huge indie rock fan, but there are good bands in the genre, and the Shins are one of those bands. They have a great ethereal quality to their music is is sort of indie pop, more than indie rock.

This particular album is simply blah, however. Most of the songs are not memorable, nor are they particularly distinct. One kind of runs into the next, but not in a good way, like with a concept album.

There is no denying the Shins' talent though, and I think they are a pretty innovative act musically. Or at least they sound that way to my untrained ear.

The 'hit' off this album "The New Slang" is a pretty good song, but just not good enough to pull this album into 3 star territory.

Also, I don't like how these edgy "arty" bands like to name their songs something obscure. How about picking a noticeable line in the song, rather than an obscure line. Making it hard for me to find the tracks I like does not make me like those tracks more.

Bottom line: There are two very good Shins albums out there ("Chutes Too Narrow" and "Wincing The Night Away"). Go get those. "Oh, Inverted World" is for completionists only.

Best tracks: The New Slang, Caring is Creepy, The Past and Pending

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