Release Date: Oct 21, 2003
Record label: Sub Pop
Genre(s): Indie, Pop
Hailed in some quarters as the saviours of US indie rock, this New Mexico quartet play uplifting melodic pop that should find favour much further around the globe. The follow-up to 2002's excellent Oh, Inverted World finds Albuquerque's finest further mining their own private bittersweet seam, kicking off with the pop turbulence of Kissing the Lipless and absurdly joyous Mine's Not a High Horse, before reaching another career peak with the dizzying exuberance of So Says I. Although downbeat self-deprecation lurks in lines like "Left my home just to whine in this microphone," and there's a certain small-town romance vibe throughout, they're not averse to surprises.
In Jonathan Franzen’s overrated best-seller The Corrections, there exists a sophisticated computer program that can identify patterns in someone’s favorite music and synthesize the data into new music that is guaranteed to satisfy. Only fiction? It seems that The Shins have gained access to this magical machine, and they keep pushing my buttons, over and over and over again. The Albuquerque foursome first exercised this eerie power on me (and countless others) with 2001’s Oh, Inverted World, a stomach-stinging, bell-ringing cyanide bon-bon of a debut.