Port Of Morrow – The Shins

Port Of Morrow

The Shins

2012

Columbia/Aural Apothecary

I fell deeply in love with The Shins after hearing a good deal of their catalog in Garden State several years ago (keep your side-eye to yourself). Needless to say, I had been anticipating this album since I heard it was in the works. Although I’ll admit to being a bit ashamed that I purchased the actual disc at a Starbucks, the ride home with the windows down and James Mercer belting away made it all worth it.

After five years, Port Of Morrow finally became the follow-up to 2007‘s Wincing The Night Away. Though it remains true to the sound of The Shins, what separates Port from previous albums is that as the fourth studio album in 11 years, it’s been given the time to grow sonically. Compared to past albums, this one goes down more like a fine wine — never bitter, always satisfying.

The radio single “Simple Song” is a melodic instrumental bit with an upbeat vibe. The songs on this album consist of an interesting emotional range, however. For example, “For A Fool” is a slow and blissful ballad, more refined than previous albums. Meanwhile, the twangy “September” takes carefully planned steps lyrically and instrumentally, which helps it delve deeper into the emotional ground that Mercer lays out, with a mixture of biblical images (“Ponuts kindly gave up a pearl,” “A court of angels, a ward of the sun”) and descriptions of nature (“A song in the tree has distracted her mind,” “Her shining face in a million reflections / On tiny raindrops”).

Being the first album recorded by The Shins in roughly five years, Port Of Morrow isn’t one to disappoint. It doesn’t “get weird” or stray into electronic noise devoid of any meaning. Instead, it delivers. Plain and simple.

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2 Responses to “Port Of Morrow – The Shins”

  1. […] matter what Kristen says in her review of this album, I think this could be the most disappointing album this year (that I’ve heard so far). […]

  2. […] a huge Shins fan, so no surprise here. Thanks for the killer tunes this […]

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