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Friday, July 20, 2007

Top 5 Songs by The Shins

Believe it or not, The Shins have only made three full-length albums. Doesn't it feel like there's more than that? Maybe it's because every one of their albums is packed with awesome song, twice as many as your average compact disc. As always, I'm here to whittle down all those great songs to the 5 that matter most. Here's hoping that they're not all off of "Chutes Too Narrow." That would be a very boring list.#5: "Sleeping Lessons" from the album "Wincing the Night Away" - Say what you want about The Shins, but they sure know how to open an album. Every LP they've put out has begun with a totally awesome song. This year's "Sleeping Lessons" is no exception, with it's bubbling synth and slowly-building energy. It's the kind of song you listen to at 4am when you're driving and you need a song to keep you going, singing at the top of your lungs. I know this because I've done this. It was kinda lame.

#4: "Kissing the Lipless" from the album "Chutes Too Narrow" - That whole thing about opening an album really applies here. "Kissing the Lipless" doesn't seem all that impressive, until James Mercer erupts with "You TOOOOOOOLLLLLD us of your new life..." It's pretty much apparent from then on out that you are not listening to just some random album, but one of the best albums ever made. This song is simply a standout on an otherwise flawless album.

#3: "Turn a Square" from the album "Chutes Too Narrow" - This song was my first introduction to The Shins. Believe it or not, I didn't like it at all when I first heard it. But for some strange reason, I listened to it again and again until it finally dawned on my just how great this song really is. I listen to it today and I still think "Wow." I can't say that about very many songs at all.

#2: "New Slang" from the album "Oh, Inverted World" - If a single song could ever propel a relatively unknown band like The Shins to the top of the Billboard charts, it'd have to be "New Slang." Go ahead and credit that to Zach Braff, whose 2004 film "Garden State" found Natalie Portman's character saying that this one song could change your life. It not only changed Braff's character's life, but the lives of The Shins and the millions of people who first heard The Shins because of this one scene. But "New Slang" is much more that some random endorsement from the guy from Scrubs. It's a beautiful song, and one of James Mercer's greatest conquests in songwriting.

#1: "Pink Bullets" from the album "Chutes Too Narrow" - If you've been reading this blog for any substantial period of time, or know me personally, then you probably are aware that this is my second favorite song of all time behind "Paranoid Android". That makes it my favorite indie rock song of all time by a long shot. Everything about this song is beautiful, and it's placement right in the midst of the otherwise rowdy and uptempo "Chutes Too Narrow" made it all the more poignant. Mercer has never written a better song than this one, and I doubt he ever could. The imagery in the lyrics is astounding (tangled kites, warm light on a winter day, etc.) and the delivery is flawless. Honestly, if you've never heard the song before go to iTunes and download it. It will change your life.


Jan Garcia said...

Nice list. Agree w/ you on "Pink Bullets". Awesome.

Anonymous said...

agree with you on all of slang is just amazing.......caring is creepy should be up there but which one do u take out?

Anonymous said...

another great one, in my opinion, is "Nothing at All"

Anonymous said...

dude i like this list but i think red rabbits is their best song personally

Anonymous said...

5.Caring is Creepy
4.Know Your Onion
3.Past and Pending
2.Phantom Limb

Anonymous said...

OK. Your list is definitely interesting. Turn A Square was a surprise. But I would put mine like this:

5. "Sea Legs"
4. "New Slang"
3. "Pink Bullets"
2. "The Past And Pending"
1. "So Says I"

....Now Keep In Mind, This is just at the moment. It changes all the time. "So Says I" will never be toppled from 1st because it has sentimental value. and "Chutes Too Narrow" is my personal favorite album.
The Shins are my favorite artists in the world today I'm pretty sure James Mercer can't go wrong. He's just too good. So even though he fired the rest of The Shins, I think "Port of Morrow" will be something to behold.

Anonymous said...

why is there nothing from chutes too narrow on there