Chutes Too Narrow

The Shins

Sub Pop, 2003

REVIEW BY: Melanie Love


The Shins are one of those bands that may just boggle your mind. You either embrace their unique blend of folk, indie rock and Beach Boys-esque pop or instead search out a more palatable brand of music.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

From the second I heard The Shins featured in the 2004 film Garden State, I was instantly one of the former. On their sophomore release, Chutes Too Narrow, the band executes a disc that sticks close to their original formula that brought them success on their debut, Oh, Inverted World, but manage to mature their sound along the way.

Chutes Too Narrow opens with the jangly "Kissing The Lipless," reiterating the band's lyrical aptitude with lines like "You tested your metal of doe's skin and petals / while kissing the lipless who bleed all the sweetness away." It's good to know that at least one successful band today is talented with their thesaurus.

The Albuquerque, New Mexico-based quartet of musicians has been lauded with praise from the start (like the line in Garden State that the band "will change your life" wasn't proof enough?), but it didn't stop them from improving upon their already fascinating sound. Standout tracks include the slow, bluesy "Pink Bullets," which features a harmonica solo, of all things; the catchy, acoustic melodies of "Young Pilgrims;" and "So Says I," which comes as close to energetic as The Shins ever do.

Multitasking lyricist, vocalist and guitarist James Mercer proves that he and the rest of the band can bypass the trap of a previously successful album, mixing witty, endearing lyrics with the perfect array of acoustic-driven songs. So even if Chutes Too Narrow isn't easily definable, it's most definitely enjoyable.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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