The Shins
Oh, Inverted World


5.0
classic

Review

by Clumpy USER (29 Reviews)
June 20th, 2007 | 81 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pure Pop Perfection

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The Shins - "Oh Inverted World"
By Clumpy
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Twenty seconds into opener "Caring is Creepy" this album pulls you into its current and keeps you there.

It's a moment of "ahh. . .", of a valve somewhere deep inside the human soul getting tweaked and releasing steam. It's a cathartic moment - every part of this album just feels so right that these songs must have been pulled from some reserve deep in the human soul, some ancient memory of a past life given a title and pressed to a disc.

But memories can be deceiving - these songs rarely progress the way that you think they will. At least until that singular moment where everything falls into perfect place.

"Oh Inverted World" has that effect on you. Some people may not "click" with this album as I have, but for me it's like meeting an old friend again after a long separation.

This album is often deliberately murky, but never confusing. The band's guitars, sometimes fast, sometimes long and warbly, create a pleasant wall of sound like a musical hug. Chimes, background vocals and even sound effects cue in at appropriate moments, rounding out the instrumentation. This is an album in perpetual soft focus that will need to be listened to a few times to be fully appreciated.

What we are left with is an album so sonically sublime, so unified and pure in its presentation that every instrument, shift and flow of the music feels necessary. These songs vibrate at just the right frequency.

"Oh Inverted World" is indie music at its finest. Though the songs are immediately catchy, the listener will find songs here deeper than most modern music fare. The production sounds low-fi and dated, but not like a White Stripes record, where incoherence is part of the charm. No, the instrumentation here is ethereal but thoughtful. The pieces fit, and they fit well.

With an album like this, the lyrics feel almost irrelevant. Mercer's voice becomes just another instrument, distant and nearly unintelligible. I can't understand more than a sentence fragment here and there and I wouldn't have it any other way. There's hardly a misstep on the whole album. Even the creepy low-tempo detour "Your Algebra" feels ineviable in retrospect. Why couldn't I see it the first time? And celebrated single "New Slang" is nothing more or less than the song that will change your life, if Natalie Portman is to be believed.

This is a perfect indie pop album, but more than a pop album. This is a true album - the tracks on "Oh Inverted World" contribute and build on one another.

This is an album to grow on you. This is music to make you feel happy, refreshed and ever-so-slightly exhilirated. Pick it up and remember these songs for the first time.

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Thank you for reading this review. Please vote for it if you liked it!
Comments and questions should be directed to mrclumpy@gmail.com
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3.9
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Comments:Add a Comment 
samthebassman
June 20th 2007


2164 Comments


Im keen to hear this, sorry not a fan of this review.

Clumpy
June 20th 2007


76 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

What can I do to improve the review? Does it need more information or do you disagree with my conclusions?

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2007


17945 Comments


i thought it was pretty sweet, nice and short and easily digestible

pulseczar
June 20th 2007


2385 Comments


woah clumpy's back! didn't you go on a missionary asssignment or something? i was Galapogos way back then, but i wasn't a big user or anything so i doubt you remember me. nice review.

samthebassman
June 20th 2007


2164 Comments


Very short is all, probably a bit more info & the end paragraphs dont look right.

Clumpy
June 20th 2007


76 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hey how's it going? Yeah - I was in the Philippines for two years as a missionary. It was pretty awesome. I'm still glad to be able to listen to music and use the Internet again, though. . . Thanks for remembering me. I'll try to write a bunch more reviews over the next few days and weeks but I have a full-time job now so I'll have to balance that in somewhere.

Clumpy
June 20th 2007


76 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Okay. I will work on it tomorrow. Thanks for the input, Sam. Now that I look at it I think I could fill it out a bit and fix the very end. But I have to get up at 6:00 tomorrow morning so I'll call it a day for now .

RandyfromPennywise
June 20th 2007


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just add the sentences together in one paragraphs, for instance:

With an album like this, the lyrics feel almost irrelevant. Mercer's voice becomes just another instrument, distant and nearly unintelligible. I can't understand more than a sentence fragment here and there and I wouldn't have it any other way.

There's hardly a misstep on the whole album. Even the creepy low-tempo detour "Your Algebra" feels ineviable in retrospect. Why couldn't I see it the first time?

And "New Slang" is nothign more or less than the song that will change your life, if Natalie Portman is to be believed.
shouldn't be three paragraphs. Just make it one.

antihippy
June 20th 2007


696 Comments


welcome back, clumpy. :thumb:

The Jungler
June 20th 2007


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Woah, I remember you from a while back. Are you back for good now?
Anyways, review is really good. I don't know about this album being a five, but I still like The Shins quite a bit.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
June 20th 2007


4927 Comments


I remember fixing the coding in a couple of your old reviews. God they are long. good review

Iai
Emeritus
June 20th 2007


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Welcome back.

AlienEater
June 20th 2007


716 Comments


I find that the Shins are pretty average tbh

burton.and.gas
June 20th 2007


641 Comments


the shins aren't perfedt tbh, but thiis definitely too accesible musically for me to enjoy so my pov is probably wrong. however your review seems slanted at first, but becomes a lil less so later on.

Zebra
Moderator
June 21st 2007


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Welcome back. Although I disagree with you on many points (check my review for an explanation) this review was good.
By the way, aren't you an Aquacadet?


Clumpy
June 21st 2007


76 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Not exactly an Aquacadet but a fan of the band. I guess that's obvious from my reviews . To tell the truth I haven't really listened to The Aquabats in awhile but I'm still pretty loyal to them. It's good to be back.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2007


15743 Comments


Whoa, dude I remember when you left. MusicOfficial101 in the old days, it's great to see you back.

Fort23
June 29th 2007


2480 Comments


I'm trying to get into the Shins, (they were on the Garden State), so is this a good place to start.

The Jungler
June 29th 2007


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Go with either this or Chutes Too Narrow. Both good albums.

Fort23
June 29th 2007


2480 Comments


Will do, thanks.
:smash:



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