The Shins
Oh, Inverted World



by Zebra USER (177 Reviews)
June 12th, 2007 | 7 replies

Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Oh, Inverted World is a very likeable album. It’s extremely catchy, mellow at times, poppy at others, dreamy, relaxing, and breezy. It’s just upbeat enough to appeal to fans of indie-pop/rock yet it’s also subdued enough to appeal to fans of more relaxing, sublime music. Take the opening track Caring is Creepy for example. Swirling guitars melt together with James Mercer’s whimsical, dreamy voice to create an upbeat/psychedelic Beach Boys-esque song. James Mercer is one of the few songwriters that can almost effortlessly create a sugary pop song that contains a mysterious and laid-back vibe.

In other words Oh, Inverted World is thirty-three minutes of indie-pop heaven. The album boasts riff based rockers (”Know Your Onion”, ”Girl on the Wing””) laid-back baroque-pop (”Weird Divide”, ”Your Algebra”” and some the best breezy summer sing-alongs that I’ve ever heard (”New Slang”, ”One By One All Day”). James Mercer succeeds in creating songs with just enough variety to keep from being monotonous yet Oh, Inverted World still remains cohesive. Every song on the album is driven by mythical guitar lines and lulling vocal melodies, it’s easy to draw similarities between The Shins and The Beach Boys. Unfortunately The Shins suffer from lack of variation; while On, Inverted World has some variety every song on the album is produced exactly the same giving the music an extremely “samey-sounding” vibe.

Another problem I have with The Shins is that every song goes through the same type of style, verse-chorus-verse-chorus-verse-chorus. While this isn’t a huge deal it can get tedious after listening to the album multiple times because the repetitive nature of the album begins to kick in. Oh, Inverted World also lacks standout tracks, every song is solid as a rock however if I were asked to name one song after listening to this I just couldn’t. James Mercer knows how to write breezy pop songs, I find myself singing along with these melodies all day but when it comes down to it there’s nothing on Oh, Inverted World that keeps me coming back for more.

To make things short and sweet if you’re a fan of indie-pop, dream-pop, or just pop music in general then you’ll probably enjoy this. Oh, Inverted World is a very accessible album due to it’s upbeat and mellow combination of sounds. There’s nothing amazing or ***ed up about The Shins that make them particularly interesting, they just know how to make nice, catchy, concise pop albums.

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user ratings (908)
other reviews of this album
jtswope (4)
The Shins start off strong with easygoing and lively indie pop on their delightful debut LP....

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Pure Pop Perfection...

Welcometothezoo (4)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 12th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

My least favorite Shins album. I completely agree with this CD's samey-syndrome.

June 13th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review, pretty accurate I must say. Can we bring back voting on staff reviews please? An anonymous vote is much better than reduntantly writing "good review".

Two-Headed Boy
June 14th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

Consistently solid, just not amazing or unique. Still, Caring is Creepy and New Slang are amazing songs. Great work.

The Jungler
June 14th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

I've been meaning to listen to this album for a while. I like Chutes Too Narrow a lot, as well as the singles off this, so I really don't know why I haven't.

Nice job anyways.

November 21st 2008


Consistently solid, just not amazing or unique. Still, Caring is Creepy and New Slang are amazing songs. Great work.

November 28th 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

This band does not get enough credit on this site.

November 28th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

well I can see why people wouldn't like this

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