Friday, January 26, 2007

Well, at least he's still got his health.


The Shins are not a prolific band. No matter how pretty Ms. Portman is, she was still dead wrong when she infamously stated that this unassuming bunch-of Pixies fans from New Mexico were "life-changing." The Shins aren't the type of band that has mountains of b-sides waiting for discovery. They aren't the type of band prone to releasing double albums, or even single albums with running times breaking the half-hour mark. They get in, and get out. And it's with all due respect that I state, that for whatever Shins frontman/songwriting guru, James Mercer, lacks in prolificacy, he surely makes up for it in the jaw-dropping economy of his tunes.
On The Shins' long-awaited third album, Wincing the Night Away, Mercer has never sounded more liberal, playing with the space within his songs. For a group that previously seemed so easy to pin down, utterly identifiable all as there own with little of their alleged influences ever bleeding through the din of cryptic boyish alliteration and reverb-soaked clean-channel guitar lines, Wincing is the sound of a band trying to reinvent themselves in a myriad of ways, as quickly and as carefree as possible. Most of the time, it works; and yet, even when it doesn’t, the Shins have never sounded more exuberant. “Sleeping Lessons” kicks off the set with a mercurial aquarium keyboard line, that goes for about two-minutes until the band explodes into a chugging (dare I say “Arcade Fire-esque”) power-chord shake-down; the next song, “Australia,” kicks off with Animal Collective yelps only to transform into a full-on Marr and Morrissey minor-chord mope-pop rocker. The first single, “Phantom Limb,” is pure Jesus and Mary Chain from the very first fuzzy keyboard note. And sure, “Girl Sailor” and the trademark drum-less bucolic closer “A Comet Appears” are pure Shins-territory. Pastiche after pastiche, references abound only to be discarded, songs careen off in every direction possible, and somehow this experimentation managed to not compromise the accessibility of Mercer’s jams in the least. Three for three. [HG]

Keep in mind I have not adjusted this record review in any way, except for the quotes and apostrophes. It should go without saying that it's one of many record review for the Shins' new record Wincing the Night Away. I would to call out the gentleman who wrote this awful, awful review, but I'm feeling a nicer today. Plus, I think the guy's probably Jewish and we heebs gotta stick together.

I will say that it's probably the least clever and most disagreed-with review I've read in a long time. And his grammar, punctuation and syntax suck, too. It's like he uses hypens for sport. I really hope this is an unedited copy. Other than that, it seems like a respectable review. But since when can "economy" be described as "jaw-dropping"? Hypenating "Shins territory" is just retarded. I suppose my main gripe with this review is its improper use of hyphens. Proper hyphen usage is a gorgeous, almost avant-garde poetic thing (SEE HOW I USED THAT HYPEN CORRECTLY?!), but to see someone use it incorrectly is like a gung-ho Iraq war supporter justifying the war or a drunk man trying to cross an icy street.

Needless to say, I don't care for the Shins. But the second half of Wincing isn't bad at all.

It's just... so... sad. But you're actually kind of rooting for him because he's trying so hard. At the same time, the sick part of you wants to see him fall because he's such a misdirected moron.


Anonymous Anonymous said... seem to have a hard time spelling "hyphen" though.

1/30/2007 6:48 PM  

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