Chutes Too Narrow Review

artist: The Shins date: 01/22/2005 category: compact discs
The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow
Released: Oct 21, 2003
Genre: Rock
Styles: Indie Rock, Indie Pop
Number Of Tracks: 10
Chutes Too Narrow might seem as light and fleeting as dandelion fluff or snow flurries blowing in the wind.
 Sound: 8
 Lyrics: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 8.7
 Overall rating:
 9.2 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.4 
 Users rating:
 9.9 
 Votes:
 19 
 Views:
 199 
reviews (3) 2 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
Chutes Too Narrow Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 22, 2005
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: James Mercer spent his "New Slang" McDonald's money on building a new studio in his basement and "Chutes Too Narrow" is the first Shins offering since. Maybe the familiar surroundings or the excitement of realizing he never has to leave the house is responsible for the snappier sound and consistent quality from track to track. Also, the Shins moved the voice up in the mix so it doesn't sound so buried. Good move. // 10

Lyrics: Mercer jams some tricky syllables into his lyrics which at the very least comes across as wholly original. At best, Shins lyrics evidence intelligence and wit, without the does-this-song-mean-anything? non-sequitors that decorate Pavement, certain REM and early Beck songs. At worst, the lyrics make you wonder if Mercer's willingness to break out the Lit professor vocabulary demands an editor. In a nutshell, sometimes it's too emo. // 8

Overall Impression: Chutes Too Narrow is a tight indie rock record. I think it's a definite leap forward from "Oh Inverted World," and it will be interesting to see what the Shins do next. "Gone For Good," "Kissing The Lipless," "Mine's Not A High Horse," "Saint Simon," and "Turn A Square," are simply great songs. Four other tracks are solid. The only weak tune is that sparse little acoustic ditty about the girl making tea in her underwear. Great image but he could have worked a little harder on the arrangement. But that's simply complaining for the sake of complaining. Overall it's great. // 10

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overall: 6.7
Chutes Too Narrow Reviewed by: *Truly Ninja*, on august 02, 2004
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Indie purists don't have too much to get excited about these days. Lots of moderately interesting debut albums have come out recently, but todays indie generation lacks a flagship to lead the way. We don't have a replacement Pavement, basically. With Modest Mouse wading into the mainstream (and liz phair hopelessly drowning in it), guided by voices breaking up come august, and Doug Martsch's Salinger-esque reclusivism (C'mon, doug, lets have a tour or a new built to spill album or something) our wonderful movement lacks direction. // 6

Lyrics: In come the Shins. After being berated for lisencing a song for a McDonalds commerical, the shins struck back with a poppy, enjoyable second album, and they, not interpol or franz ferdinand, are the band who is giving me the most hope for the future of indie rock. With a little bit more edge, they could easily become the missling ling between Pavement and, I dunno, R.E.M. // 8

Overall Impression: That said, the songs on this record are not phenomenal. the progressions are catchy and the lyrics are often riddled with dry humor, but the album is not wholly engaging. "So Says I" is only a 2:47 long song, but it seems to lumber on without ever stopping. There are a few gems here, though. (If there weren't, I would not count on these guys to breathe life into my favorite genre) "Young Pilgrims" is the superior song lyrically, and "Saint Simon" becomes more beautiful after every listen. They also have great song titles! ("Kissing the Lipless", "Mine's not a high horse"). In conclusion, Chutes too narrow is a mostly pleasurable listen as well as a very promising second album. // 6

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overall: 9.3
Chutes Too Narrow Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 11, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album sounds very similar all throughout, so it can get repetitive and boring. But at least it's a good sound throughout. Just because a album has a similar sound throughout doesn't make the sound bad. Especially if you put it on shuffle with a few other CD's. I love the the sound of every one of the songs on this albums, so there aren't really any songs you'll need to skip. Good pop/indie rock. // 8

Lyrics: This album has great lyrics. Some songs would almost seem emo if it wasn't for the quirky side of it and the sound of the album. The album's quirky sound plus the quirky lyrics have an amazing effect. The only way I can really describe James Mercer's voice is that I love it. It's high pitched, but has a great sound to it. Not like Chris Carraba's (Sorry emo kids!) // 10

Overall Impression: This is one of my all-time favorite albums. Definitely my favorite between the two Shins albums. Go buy it. A must have in your collection. // 10

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