Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Shins – Port of Morrow (2012) – Review

Review: Port of Morrow is the Shins fourth studio album, largely with a different line-up (but front-man James Mercer still writes all the music and lyrics, and is the only remaining member of the original group). The new line-up (or five year break) may account for Port of Morrow sounding quite different from the Shins’s previous records. However, the lead single Simple Song does sound the most like a ‘Shins song’ (and has a great music video). That is not to say that the music is not good or that the band (James Mercer and friends) has lost its sound, as the Shins still make folky/poppy indie rock that is easily accessible, well-crafted and lyrically beautiful. I actually like that the band has taken their sound to a new place (imagine if the Beatles never explored different sounds, we would not have many of their greatest songs). The Shins have almost a timeless sound with this grouping of songs (like many of the great albums), not sounding specifically to one decade or genre trend. While Chutes Too Narrow is probably still my personal favorite Shins record, Port of Morrow is a very good return for the band, and an album I will be listening to a lot in 2012 (and beyond). 4/5

Editor’s Essential Tracks:
1)      Port of Morrow – Produced by Greg Kurstin and James Mercer
2)      Simple Song – Produced by Greg Kurstin and James Mercer
3)      No Way Down – Produced by Greg Kurstin and James Mercer

Available on CD and Digital Download

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