Friday, January 12, 2007

The Shins - Wincing the Night Away *

Hipsters. They suck.

I may have hipster tastes and sensibilities, but I am not a hipster. I am unequivocally anti-hipster. How else could I show such shameless devotion to This Shins? A true hipster would never publicly admit he worships a band like The Shins; a band that gained a hefty chunk of its popularity by being name-checked by Natalie Portman. A true hipster would be worried others would think he discovered the band via Portman in Garden State. (Yes, I realize most normal, well-adjusted adults don’t think about shit like this.)

I did not discover The Shins by watching Garden State. I did, however, discover the band via the video for New Slang, which is the song Portman suggests will “change your life.” She was right. From the time I heard that song, my life changed; my measuring stick for great music changed. To me, there is The Shins, and then there is the rest of my music collection. I’ve bought and downloaded some outstanding music since discovering the band, but nothing comes close. The music is simple yet inventive; the lyrics are thought-provoking and meaningful, but sound effortless.

So I am clearly biased in predicting the rating for Wincing the Night Away. I haven’t heard the album. In fact, I have intentionally not downloaded songs from the album when I have come across them on-line. The anticipation is annoying. It’s 2007. Who waits for anything? But at the same time I feel like I did when I was younger and would have no choice but to wait the standard 18-24 months for a new album to be released from any of my assorted favourite bands.

I know James Mercer will not let us down. Will PF give this one a fair shake? Or will it get caught up in the hype, or the anti-hype? I already made my prediction a few posts ago, but I’ll make it official here: 9.7! Actual rating: 7.0. Point differential: 2.7.



Anonymous AW said...

I think you're going to be disapointed. P4K has been moving away from these bands, especially as they crack the mainstream.

Look for a 7.3

Also prepare for impending Arcade Fire and Bloc Party bitchslaps.

12/1/07 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

Meh, they liked the first single, and the rest of the album doesn't stray too far from that.

I think they will LIKE it, but not LOVE it.

My guess: 8.6

15/1/07 11:26 AM  
Anonymous AW said...

Maybe, but there's a lot on the album I believe they'll lable "too MOR"

We'll see.

15/1/07 11:38 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

I disagree completely with Sam. I think the whole album ventures quite far from Phantom Limb and is an adventuresome creative jump from both Chutes and Inverted. Consequently it takes a long time to sink in and be appreciated (especially for it's top gun-esque production on one track). Initially, I was disappointed. Now I still listen to it because it is a different direction for the band. I don't think the PF has the time to let things sink in. I could be wrong, but I think it rates a 6.7.

16/1/07 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this one seems to be in the 7.0-7.3 range.

if only the entire album was as good as australia...

16/1/07 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

I think this is definitely a good album, but it won't get higher than a 7.5 from da fork. I however, think that "Australia" is one of the most boring tracks on the album.

18/1/07 4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i nailed it!

22/1/07 9:52 AM  

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