The Shins are a tough band to pigeonhole. They're neither pop, nor rock but inhabit a middle ground somewhere in between. Much like the Arcade Fire their sound has an incredible pop sensibility, drenched in hook-ridden melodies, but with just enough complexity to reward the dedicated ear.
Despite this potentially wide-ranging appeal, the band lacks the kind of media attention given to their indie pop compatriots such as the bafflingly popular Razorlight or the frighteningly tedious Fratellis.
Their latest record Wincing the Night Away pushes the boundaries of pop more than they’ve previously dared, with hip-hop beats, splashes of dreamy electronica and straight-up pop rock, all built on the solid foundation of frontman James Mercer’s incredible dynamic lyrical talent.
With S Club 7, the Cheeky Girls, Westlife et al giving pop such a bad name in the past 10 years we need bands like The Shins to inject life into a pallid genre, and with the first contender for album of the year, they may just have done it. There’s only one pigeonhole this band belong in, and it’s labelled brilliant.
Get Wincing the Night Away from iTunes now.
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