It’s been such a strange start to the year as all the big hitters like the Arcade Fire, Bloc Party, Explosions In The Sky, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and the Shins have released enjoyable yet somehow slightly disappointing records. That’s the thing with expectation I guess, every year we build ourselves into a big lather about the coming of Christmas and when it comes it is so often a let down. The Shins are onto their third album and edge ever closer to universal acclaim. It is well deserved as James Mercer is one of the finest exponents of indie pop that we’ve seen for a long time (‘Sleeping Lessons’ is quite perfect). It’s just when it comes to a full album of Shins material the trick does seems to lose it’s sense of wide eyed wonder. Taken in moderation the Shins music is like a blast of multi-coloured audio, laced with ripe melody, exotic rhythms and Mercer’s dainty vocals. Tracks like ‘Phantom Limb’ translates wonderfully to a broad cross section of listeners, it is in effect above criticism. Why is it then that I can’t take a whole Shins album in a single listen? Have I become a victim of the iPod generation or is too much of an undeniable good thing just not appetising enough? Carrie Bradshaw
The Shins – Phantom Limb
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