The Shins - Little Mountain
Published: Monday, March 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 5, 2012 15:07
Just when you thought you would have to play your 2007 Wincing the Night Away album or watch Garden State for the umpteenth time in order to hear The Shins again, the American indie rock band released their fourth studio album Port of Morrow on March 20.
Aiming for a more smooth and polished sound than what can be heard on past albums, The Shins, composed of James Mercer (vocals, guitar), Joe Plummer (drums), Jessica Dobson (guitar), Yuuki Matthews (bass) and Rochard Swift, placed a much greater emphasis on electronic instrumentals without losing the same upbeat pop style that made us fans in the first place.
Songs such as “It’s Only Life” and “40 Mark Strasse” are reminiscent of the older Shins that you still listen to from time to time, and serve as a reminder that not all good things come to an end. Though five years was far too long to have to wait, and in that time the band saw changes in members, what matters is that The Shins managed to produce material that old fans are being positively receptive of, even going so far as saying that the album is “so utterly satisfying”.
Port of Morrow was inspired by themes of love and the duality of life – both the beautiful and the grotesque co-existing all at once, which is evident in many of Mercer’s lyrics. If you’re a Shins fan then you already know how great this album is. It speaks for itself.
(Aural Apothecary, Columbia Records)