Wincing the Night Away

Studio Album by released in 2007

Wincing the Night Away review

The Shins – the most leisurely band

You can’t call The Shins a young band, after all the band exists since 1997, you can’t also call it a productive one as they managed to release only two official albums before 2003, but you can call this musicians good songwriters and this as it is well known is much more important than any advantage of any band. And though The Shins have earned a reputation of slackers in the circle of indie bands, people still remember, know and love them. The Shins started their discography with unpretentious but very sincere indie pop Lo Fi album, which sounded just like the first album should. Not so long after that the band stepped in a new cycle of maturity with their Chutes Too Narrow and demonstrated an obvious professional growth. Both of the albums received a lot of positive responses and provided The Shins with a small fan army but still they couldn’t give the band a push strong enough to reach a big scene. The musicians took a deep breath, summoned the strengths and after more than three years of silence recorded a really good album Wincing The Night Away. And it must be said that it’s not a bedroom pop any longer but music worthy of a stadium acclaim. Wincing The Night Away is capable to build a real fame jumping-off place for this once so diffident and modest band.

The Shins know how to make the audience sing along

In order to make their new record work James Mercer and company abandoned a comfort zone of the songs created by a heartfelt outbursts and random improvisations and tried to realize the way they should act to make the crowd sing a long with the band during the concert. This uneasy task was additionally complicated with attempts to stay true to itself and unwillingness of the band to get mixed with other pop music mass. Luckily they managed to cope with it in a way. Of course it can hardly be said that all the 11 songs of the album turned out to be super hits, but a percentage of good material is obviously dominating over the through passing one. Such songs as Australia and Sea Legs may be considered as the album’s absolute hits, there are a catchy melody, soaring vocals and a specific self-criticism of Mercer’s lyrics here. Phantom Limb and Turn Me On don’t stand far from them, these are nice examples of solid pop rock that features a peculiar and intrigue arising melodic. A song that stands out as another hit is beautifully arranged A Comet Appears. Judging by the highest standards, the album actually doesn’t contain any weak songs but it is still worth mentioning Red Rabbits and Girl Sailor that are both quite a distinctive pieces but it is possible that for you they will be the most interesting.

Wincing The Night Away – a new sound but former mood

A big advantage of The Shins is that all their albums despite a number of notable differences always keep some sensitivity and warmth inherent to this band. A knack for keeping the features that have nothing to do with the quality of the sound and songs’ structures or in other words that do not lie on the surface but hide somewhere inside the fibers of music is a really important ability and that very thing that makes a band recognizable from album to album. The Shins took grate pains for Wincing The Night Away from the technical point of view - the songs became more elaborated and each sonic element caries it’s own role. But the band deserves an additional “thank you” for the album’s emotional content. It has sadness but there is no depressive heaviness, it has romantics but there are no hackneyed rose-colored glasses. A general atmosphere of the album easily fits the inner soul vibrations. Those things that attracted audience’s attention in the times of their first release are still well kept here. Wincing The Night Away is the best variant of The Shins to date – elaborated, interesting and friendly intimate as always.