CD Review: The Shins

Wincing the Night Away

By Jennifer Ware

I have never listened to the Shins, so when I purchased their most recent album, Wincing the Night Away, I had no idea what I was in for. The songs have all the elements of good music: creative lyrics, a good beat, individuality and memorable melodies. The album also grows on you the more you listen to it.

The Shins’ debut album was released in 2001. The indie-rock band’s third and most recent album, Wincing the Night Away was released Jan. 23. Many of you might know The Shins from the 2004 movie, “Garden State,” with Zach Braff and Natalie Portman. Their songs, “New Slang,” and “Caring is Creepy” were featured in the soundtrack.

Some of the songs, such as “Sleeping Lessons,” sound like the music is coming from far away in outer space, like the soundtrack for a dream sequence. Other songs like “Turn on Me,” are more upbeat, with a stronger sound and a lighter mood. My favorite songs on the album are “Sea Legs,” “Black Wave,” and “Splitting Needles.” But there weren’t any songs on the album that I didn’t enjoy listening to.

“Sea Legs” has a mellow and taunting tone. Picture going to the beach with your significant other on a relaxing and sunny day doing nothing but enjoying the time you spend with them: “Throw all consequence aside / And the chill aspire, people set alight.”

“Black Wave” makes me think of someone looking back at where they went wrong and trying to work through their personal tribulations. It’s remorseful and reminiscent. The song has few lyrics, but definitely makes you think.

I was unfamiliar with The Shins and their sound when I first listened to Wincing the Night Away, I definitely am a Shins enthusiast now. I found that once I started listening to the CD, I didn’t want to turn it off. Some of their lyrics are hard to follow and are full of metaphors, but the album as a whole is enchanting and creative.

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