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Ok, so I am not ashamed to admit that I got into The Shins in the first place through Garden State. Hey, even though she can't act, im a total sucka for Ms Portman. And cute women in jeans and sneakers. I have no idea why.

Actually I wasn't a huge fan at all, but sure, I liked them, and then I got given 'Fighting in a Sack' for my birthday, so I listened more. Yep, and I felt totally stupid for missing them when they played at Ori too.

But anyone who has had the pleasure of having me pick the music for the last year will know that I have been in a pretty quiet country / folksy phase (again). So, as good as they were The Shins didn't make it onto my Shuffle for a long time.

So, recently, my flatmates made me aware of a new album by The Shins, which was lucky as I am quite oblivious most of the time. I finally got around to having a listen as they were recommending it so highly.

Colour me impressed, maybe its just because its been a while since I listened, but it seems to me that they've matured quite a bit in their songwriting. The word we are using around here to describe it is consistency. Which kind of goes against some reviews I have read which call this their most experimental effort yet.

Im not saying that the songs all sound alike. But the album flows much better than earlier efforts, with nothing really sticking out at all as not fitting, or not being quite as good as the rest. Its gentle, and feels like it wasn't much of a torture to record.

It sounds fantastic too, really full sounding without being overdone - layered in a way that each part shines, but supports each other part. I'd like to say more but im running out of steam, and finding it a little hard to describe what I think.

So ok, you may be able to tell that im a bit of a fan of this, its on the Shuffle, and will be for some time.

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posted on Thu, 15 Mar 2007 at 9:26 PM » permalink