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hi mum James Mercer and his band The Shins have just pooped their sophomore release Chutes Too Narrow. In what has been a rather dull year for music releases, receiving this album a few months ago restored my faith in the music Buddha. THANK YOU LORD. Itís common knowledge now that......well, we all know most bands never live up to their hyped first release well.....BREAK OUT THE CHAMPERS, I think The Shins have cracked the sophomore curse.

This album stands tall next to Oh! Inverted World with the uniqueness and inventiveness of James Mercer's melodic sensibility, which simply cannot be overstated. On Chutes Too Narrow, as with its predecessor, Mercer makes brilliant use of his formidable vocal range, writing soaring melodies every bit as original as they are memorable. Thereís not a dull moment on this record. Right from the beginning, James etches out Kissing the Lipless that has everything from meaningful/meaningless lyrics (Iíll let you decide) to a fresh catchy tune..... and carries all the way to the mellow riffs of Those To Come, 34 minutes later.

Itís not just a good example of indie pop done right, itís also a powerful testament to pop music's capacity for depth, beauty and expressiveness.

hi mum After the death of guitarist, Mary Hansen late last year, Stereolabís picked up from where they left us 2 years ago with the release of a new maxi ep entitled íinstant 0 in the universeí which was leaked/released a few months ago. To put it simple, this sounds pretty much like anything Stereolab have done since Emperor Tomato Ketchup. Itís not a bad thing but itís not a good thing either. They seem to have stopped trying to push the limits with experimenting and settled for your next cocktail space jazz party soundtrack.

Why am I doing a post on it then? Even if this ep is a little woozy and sounds like it came straight from 2001's cutting room floor, It has some very nice moments, for instance Ď...Sudden Starsí which starts off with Laetitia Sadier's ever-distinct alto and is nu skool Ďlab to a tee. Even without Mary to add complexity, these tracks do hold up, even if they have lost that edge.

This leaves Stereolab fans wondering if these cocktail space jazzy folk will the do a 180 degree turn or go into their next long player with an unchanged idea, due out Australia Day 2004.

Posted by bo||e at 12:55 PM November 02, 2003

The Shins are just what i've been waiting for!
since The Dismemberment Plan well... Dismembered , i have been wandering aimlessly without a nice alternate/lo-fi band to worship.
After hearing those four songs i'll be putting the shins on my shopping list. :)

Comment posted by: Mattsurbate at November 5, 2003 03:46 PM

"Pooped" an album, and break out 'the champers'?

Bolle, my friend, you are a choice tool.

Comment posted by: allan at November 7, 2003 09:59 PM

allan is almost anall

Comment posted by: at November 8, 2003 12:34 AM

not only did you steal my witty comeback, but you were too much of a coward to leave your name.

and stereolab <3<3<3

Comment posted by: silpheed at November 8, 2003 01:24 AM

Nice work on the Pitchfork plagiarism.

Comment posted by: David at November 14, 2003 01:13 PM

hahaha a big gold star to you, david

and it's not 'plagiarism', it's 'borrowing'

Comment posted by: bo||e at November 15, 2003 07:18 PM

My wee-wee hurts.

Comment posted by: Ouch at November 21, 2003 07:28 AM

good for you sunshine

Comment posted by: at November 23, 2003 01:07 AM


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