What Brandon Likes

Posted by Brandon |

Again, with apologies to the missing Greg.

I love it when a band builds a cultish, holier-than-thou following the way that The Shins did with first Oh, Inverted World and then the absolutely amazing Chutes Too Narrow and a mention by Natalie Portman in Garden State as a band that will change your life. You know that no matter what happens, their first fans will never outwardly be satisfied with a follow up album that will be the first to hit a much larger audience. Modest Mouse is a humongous example of this.

Such is the case with Wincing The Night Away. It's so easy to find old fans crying that The Shins have lost it and this album can't compare to their first two. Wincing the Night Away isn't perfect, but if it were the band's second indie label album instead of their major label debut, nobody would be complaining. I will say that it isn't as good as Chutes Too Narrow, but that's only because Chutes is almost perfect, a true gem and something that no band should have to live up to, even if they are the band that put it out.

Every song is good, some great, and all of them are different from the next. Australia is one of my favorite songs ever, it instantly makes me happy when it comes on. In fact, I was a little pissed off after softball tonight and on my drive home Australia played on my iPod and I sang it at the top of my lungs and I was no longer angry. I still came home and complained to Death?, but I no longer wanted to beat one of my own players with my bat. And while Australia is my favorite, it could've been any of a handful of songs that made me feel better. Sleeping Lessons, Phantom Limb, Turn On Me, Girl Sailor - whatever.

And that's all that I really ask out of an album. Does it make me happier when I hear it? Wincing The Night Away does, and that's good enough for me.


Jesse said...

I actually genuinely like "Good News for People Who Love Bad News". There aren't any individual songs off of it in my list of favorites but to me it felt like a more cohesive album than their others ("The Lonesome Crowded West" being the next closest).

That's the main difference between us, sometimes I like music that makes me angry. It's probably why I listen to Dead Kennedys so much. Maybe I'm just an angrier person.

Whit said...

I love the Shins. Wait until you start watching kid shows, Yo Gabba Gabba on Nick jr. features the Shins in one episode. No word on Modest Mouse yet.

Replicant said...

I like the Shins but all of their albums sound pretty much the same to me. It is a good one but I don't hear how different #3 is from #2 that might "upset" fans.

kapgar said...

That Shins album is fantastic. One of my faves of the year. And the new Modest Mouse is pretty good, too. Not as good as their last one, but I'm still enjoying it.

Motor City Monk said...

Also a big Shins fan. Wincing is good but I got sick of it pretty quick and put it on reserve for a while.