Lead by frontman James Mercer, (the band’s longest active member), the Shins bring an influx of indie, mid 80s rock feel, and even some electronic sounds to this album. Mercer has recruited famous names such as Joe Plummer, drummer for Modest Mouse; Yuuki Matthews, bassist of the Crystal Skulls and even Richard Swift to play keyboards.
This new composition of the Shins may come off as strange at first, but once one listens to the title track “Simple Song,” everything suddenly turns into the Shins of old. Bringing back memories of records such as “Wincing the Night Away” and “Chutes Too Narrow” from their indie label Sub Pop Records. In other instances, we see the poppy, mainstream side of this all-star lineup like in “No Way Down,” which comes off as a song that would be featured on the high school drama television show “One Tree Hill.”
That being said, this is the Shins first major label debut, (which will result in plenty of backlash from indie heads everywhere), but at the end of the day James Mercer is the Shins itself and he can do whatever the hell he wants with the band.
Recommended Tracks: “Simple Song”, “September”, “Fall of ‘82”