» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The Shins
Chutes Too Narrow
Sub Pop Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Melody. Oh, the sweet, sweet melodies that stream out of my speakers like a technicolor fountain of musical vibrations. Nestled between the perfect pitch of James Mercer's vocals and a stronger presence of keyboards this time around, melody is flowing and churning throughout, creating an all-around gooey goodness that will leave the listener with a goofy grin and a tapping of their feet. Although quite a departure from their first release, Chutes Too Narrow is a change for the good, while still retaining the qualities that made Oh, Inverted World so infectious.

The obvious influences are there; hints of The Beach Boys here, a dash of The Kinks over there, and even a sprinkle of Weezer are all present, but the music is melted into a cohesive whole that is something very much of its own. "Kissing the Lipless" starts things off, setting the standard for the duration of album. The standard being simply, well, catchy as all hell. The thing is, there are some points along the way that greatly exceed this standard. One of these points being the second track, "Mine's Not a High Horse." The vocal melodies and lyrics are some of the strongest on Chutes Too Narrow. Towards the middle of the album, a song entitled "Saint Simon" is sure to engrave a permanent place in your brain, with its haunting chorus and sweeping vocals.

Amazingly, The Shins have managed to create an album which isn't a recycled version of Oh, Inverted World, while still retaining the various nuances and essences that made it so damn good. Albums like this make you realize that there are bands out there making great music, and they make you wonder why just about everyone in their right minds aren't accepting it with a keen ear and wide open arms.

Reviewed by Adam Jaenke
A contributing writer for LAS, Adam Jaenke is from Eau Claire. Isn\'t that also the name of a pastry?

See other reviews by Adam Jaenke



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