Chutes Too Narrow (studio album) by The Shins
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The Shins bestography
Chutes Too Narrow is ranked as the best album by The Shins.
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Chutes Too Narrow track list
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Chutes Too Narrow rankings
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Chutes Too Narrow collection
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Chutes Too Narrow ratings
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This album is rated in the top 2% of all albums on BestEverAlbums.com. This album has a Bayesian average rating of 80.7/100, a mean average of 79.6/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 80.8/100. The standard deviation for this album is 14.7.
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Chutes Too Narrow comments
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I've heard all but one of these songs at least 10 times before, but I've never listened to them in the context of this album. It adds a little more with the scope of fate, love, hate, religion, science, nihilism, and the detraction from each of them. I think Mercer's lyrics, though not quite as complex as Oh, Inverted World's, tie quite nicely with each other, giving the listener a little more of an understanding at what he's getting at. Musically, I think this album is more realized than its predecessor, with more polish on the guitars, more drive on the drums and the bass guitar, and more emphasis on the dynamic shifts.
I think that this album is one of the top 3 of 2003 with Room on Fire and Transatlanticism and may very well vie for #1. It has so much to say and is thought-provoking and accessible to listen to at the same time- a trait not many albums share.
Kissing The Lipless, So Says I, Young Pilgrims, Saint Simon, Fighting in a Sack, Gone for Good
I've given this album a rating of 85. That is because I think it is excellent but not exceptional. I reserve my 90's and 100 ratings for only those albums that are really top drawer and these are few and far between. I am not a Shins fan as such but I certainly recognise the brilliant songwriting capabilities of Mercer, the excellent playing of the band and the talent of the production and recording teams. Some of the songs are beautiful, some are cleverly constructed, most have superb lyrics and many include little bits of added instrumentation that help to add, character, depth and ultimately enjoyment. The standouts for me are 'Kissing the Lipless, So Says I, Saint Simon and Pink Bullets. I would highly recommend this to anyone who has not listened to the Shins before.
Woah, this was a beautiful ride, a better ending to it would have made it perfect.
A folk album with lyrics as it's principal trait. I feel like this album needed something more, I don't know, the way It is, It sounds like It could have been better, maybe trying different things? The songs kind of sound the same, and they all have a pretty similar vibe to It.
I guess The Shins will never go on to write something as good as "New Slang".
This album breaks my heart in the most beautiful way. One of the best written albums I've ever heard.
I'm pretty biased toward this album, but I love it. It just has such a nice polished sound, and the songwriting is superb. The only track I wouldn't give five stars is Those to Come.
Just so damned earnest!
This album is the peak of James Mercer and The Shins creativity thus far. It is absolute indy rock perfection. If anyone asks you how to define indy rock just throw this album at them. Each track is so damn good it's difficult to pick a standout track - not a weak track on the whole album. Catchy hooks come at you relentlessly. The lyrics are fantastically enigmatic, poetic, and quirky. Mercer's vocals are at their most expressive and emotive. The guitar has a raw edge yet the album production is far more polished than Oh, Inverted World. All in all I cannot fault Chutes Too Narrow. If I were to be picky it only suffers in comparison to other great albums in this chart due to the fact that it has few songs that can lay claim to being hailed as all time classics. However, any number of these songs have the quality to be seen as classics. Perhaps they get lost in amongst the company they keep...
ALBUM HIGHLIGHT: Probably Pink Bullets, but depending on the day it could be Mine's Not A High Horse, or Kissing the Lipless, or Those to Come. or...
"Not simply an excellent album," wrote Matt LeMay in his review for Pitchfork, "Chutes Too Narrow is also a powerful testament to pop music's capacity for depth, beauty and expressiveness." That is such a great summary of what I love about this album. James Mercer and company have crafted here a collection of songs that make excellent use of Mercer's impressive vocal range, while at the same time showing an attention to detail in performance and production that give the album a timeless feel. "So Says I", the album's first single and my favorite track here, succeeds largely through the subtle variations worked into its verses, and enjoys its strongest moment in the transcendent harmonies adorning its brief, seamless bridge, concluding with these lines: "But all our crying voices, they can't turn it around / And you've had some crazy conversations of your own."
Has a style of his own.
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