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03.16.17 The Shins Ranked03.03.17 I Won't Fuck Us Over
02.08.17 M83 Ranked12.28.16 The Antlers Ranked
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02.23.15 Sowing's 10 Most Influential Albums 02.08.15 Overlooked Indie Albums Vol. Ii
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The Shins Ranked

After the release of the new record, I was compelled to revisit their entire discography and re-evaluate it. These were my conclusions.
1The Shins
Oh, Inverted World

The Shins are in many ways the "fathers of modern indie-pop", and that's mainly thanks to this album. "New Slang" is a cult classic, while "Caring Is Creepy", "One By One All Day", and "The Past and the Pending" all serve as outstanding cuts that similar indie-rock outfits have been emulating for years. This is that album you come back to for the memories and its influence on the indie genre. An absolute classic in my eyes. (5.0 / 5.0)
2The Shins
Chutes Too Narrow

The Shins' sophomore album hardly slumps at all. Similar to Oh, Inverted World in a lot of ways except that it has less of a lo-fi/experimental atmosphere and more of this earthy, acoustic grounding. This is easily the most overlooked album in their discography and many "fringe fans" probably haven't heard a single track off this. "Kissing The Lipless", "Young Pilgrims", and especially "Saint Simon" are all essential listens. This takes some time to grow but it is worth the investment. (4.3 / 5)
3The Shins

This just came out and got a pretty lukewarm reception here on Sputnik, although elsewhere it has fared much better. To me this is what Port of Morrow should have been, and most certainly what that record tried to be. It's straight up pop in structure and at times heavily overproduced, but the songwriting is genuinely good. There are only one or two average tracks on this one, and the rest range from good to great (no homeruns, either - but solid from start to end). Best tracks are "Fantasy Island", "So Now What", and "Mildenhall." (4.0 / 5.0)
4The Shins
Wincing the Night Away

The best mixed bag one could hope for. A lot of this goes in one ear and out the other; it seems like The Shins were at a crossroads here and just wanted to see what they could and couldn't get away with. When they succeed here however, it marks some of their best overall work. "Sea Legs" and "A Comet Appears" should be on any Shins fan's short list of best songs. (3.7 / 5.0)
5The Shins
Port of Morrow

Port of Morrow is pleasant enough, and "Simple Song" remains one of their best and most uplifting/inspiring anthems. But for the most part this is just tepid and inoffensive, even for The Shins. It feels like they phoned in about half of this, with just enough moments to pull the overall vibe above average. And that's coming from a hardcore, biased Shins fan. I'll never understand any ranking that places this above Heartworms or Wincing -- it's simply not that good. (3.0 / 5.0 -- unbiased: 2.5 / 5.0)
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