The Shins
Chutes Too Narrow


3.5
great

Review

by Thomas Bambaataa Ghidrah Towers USER (67 Reviews)
October 19th, 2005 | 57 replies | 18,409 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


6 of 10 thought this review was well written

I must say before the Shins I listened to absolutely no 'Indie' music before. There was one issue of Uncut magazine (Pink Floyd special!) that featured a free CD, most of it was crap but one track instantly captivated me, Saint Simon from this album. With its haunting yet cheerful melody, it's an elegantly decorated pop song hard to define by today's bland standards in mainstream music. But the stylishly retro sound that takes from jaunty Britpop to psychedelic former Pink Floyd front man Syd Barrett is toned down on Chutes too Narrow from their previous album Oh, Inverted World. Still, Chutes too Narrow doesn't disappoint. It could be even better than Oh, Inverted World with its eclectic sound varying from song to song.

The most appealing thing about the Shins at the first instant is their ability to create such remarkable melodies, very pure like... dare I say the Beatles! Songs like Kissing the Lipless, So Says I and Young Pilgrims are perfect examples. The first two are the first two singles released. They're two of the heaviest songs on this album, but still very light in that Indie Pop sort of way. Young Pilgrims is stripped down to acoustic guitars, with vocalist/guitarist James Mercer assuming a less emotional voice than his usual wailing voice. The third single Pink Bullets is also stripped down to an eerie simplicity, with a very calm, maybe even depressing mood. Pink Bullets like Gone for Good show the Shins' Country/Folk like song. I don't mind it for Pink Bullets, its soothing somberness outlined by the disheartened guitars and harmonica makes it a contender for best song on Chutes too Narrow. But unlike Pink Bullets Gone for Good is too slow for the album to not deliver anything special, and the pedal steel makes it a bit too country. Overall the second half of this album isn't as good or as interesting as the first.

Chutes too Narrow doesn't ever get repetitive, despite some weak songs. The songs and melodies still sound fresh to me; each song is easily at the least distinguishable. But Chutes too Narrow is also very short, another reason why the listener might not tire of listening to this a lot. At 33 minutes, with 10 songs, you can see the Shins popiness in song structures. Still, it's a solid album and is a definite buy for anyone who was a fan of Oh, Inverted World (though they may be a bit let down by the change, while others like it.) Also any fans of bands like The Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie, even Elliott Smith, will probably like this Indie Pop album. Note that The Killers are not Indie in any way at all! The Shins cleverly craft various eras of music into short, great songs, without sounding like a rip-off of other bands (you know who you are, members of the Darkness!) Like the cover, the Shins' music may seem simple at first, but observe more carefully and you'll find more than expected...

Recommended Tracks:
Kissing the Lipless
Saint Simon
So Says I
Pink Bullets

Chutes Too Narrow-----------------> 3.5

(hope it wasn't too short...)



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Perfectly crafted, charmingly awkward, a must own....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Rudd13
October 19th 2005



952 Comments


Pink Bullets, eh?

[quote=Galapogos]
(hope it wasn’t too short…)[/quote]

Poppycock. It was short and sweet, and your words inspire me to go check them out This Message Edited On 10.19.05

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2005



15737 Comments


Was a wee bit too short. Good detail though. Could use more info on more songs, but other than that nice work.

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2005



15737 Comments


Oh bloody hell i contradicted Rudd. lol

pulseczar
October 19th 2005



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

no one contradicts Rudd!

i may add more to this, but ive seen short reviews like this that are just as good and people seem to like

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2005



15737 Comments


Indeed. I think it's weird. I wrote track by tracks and labored over each song to make it respectable. I wrote 2 non t by t's and they took me about half an hour and people loved them. Weird....

masada
October 19th 2005



2733 Comments


*golf clap*

:cool:

Zebra
Moderator
October 19th 2005



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice reivew. IMO "Oh, Inverted World" is much better than this.

"Pink Bullets" is an amazing track.

Jawaharal
October 19th 2005



1832 Comments


Galapogos makes my reviews look like regurgatated jello

Jawaharal
October 21st 2005



1832 Comments


OMG your weighted ranking is 66.6 :eek:

pulseczar
October 21st 2005



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh no!!! jesus doesn't love me :upset:


i'll be submitting a review soon though

ChairMaker
December 25th 2005



23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review! what is up with "gone for good" though? it sounded like something id hear on the country music station. oh well. IMO the album started out amazing (kissing the lipless & young pilgrim) and kinda went downhill after a bit. still- The Shins deserve credit for putting out another amazing album!

branyangossard
January 31st 2006



8 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Best Album of 2003

ForWhatItsWorth
March 23rd 2006



97 Comments


oooooo....this makes me want to go buy the cd!

The Jungler
July 13th 2006



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Goddamn, Kissing the Lipless is so good. Oh! Inverted world has been on my "to get" list for forever, but this looks good too.This Message Edited On 07.13.06

astrel
July 13th 2006



2614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Jesus this album rocks...the intro to Kissing the Lipless is creative enough to almost make the Flaming Lips jealous.

Blackbird
October 11th 2006



39 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I really enjoy this album.. one of my favourite modern bands.. there aren't too many i like

whj247
October 14th 2006



55 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

one of the best albums i've heard. deserves far better than a 3.5 in my opinion.

here comes the bird flu
October 22nd 2006



22 Comments


Gone for Good ftw

Zmev
October 22nd 2006



983 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'm gonna go ahead and breakup the omg teh shinz chain.

here comes the bird flu
October 22nd 2006



22 Comments


=-(



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