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Chutess Too Narrow

200 customer reviews

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6 used from CDN$ 15.94

Product Details

  • Audio CD (Dec 22 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Pony Canyon
  • ASIN: B0000DJWNK
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)

Product Description

Product Description

Japanese Version featuring a Bonus Track

The Shins' sophomore album is a joy from start to finish, though it's rather different from their 2001 leftfield pop genius stunner Oh, Inverted World. That album was like a warm embrace from a long-lost pal. True to its title, all of the songs were of a piece, seeming to inhabit one landscape, with an invitingly similar sound throughout. Chutes is more far-reaching and decidedly eclectic. Each song is essentially its own genre exercise. There's singer-songwriter James Mercer's surprisingly Perry Farrell-ish wail on the almost indie-metal opener, "Kissing the Lipless"; the lovely pedal steel lilt to "Gone for Good"; the moody folktronica of "Those to Come"; and the Cars-gone-rockabilly riffing on "Turn a Square." The strongest song, the acoustic "Young Pilgrims," is stripped-down and brilliant. On every tune, Mercer packs more hooks and melodic invention than most bands do on one album. As a whole, it's an even better record than Inverted World. --Mike McGonigal --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alan Ranta on Oct. 30 2005
Format: Audio CD
An acoustic driven album from the New Mexico quartet, Chutes Too Narrow sees The Shins maturing to a full on experience. As opposed to the sociopathic delivery and ultimate misrepresentation of false emotions and hypothetical situations by groups like The Darkness, Jet, and The Kings Of Leon, James Mercer has more invested in his lyrics. Just as catchy and easy to listen to, it sounds like more work went into this production specifically the careful studio touches and craftsmanship in each track. No doubt they're stuck in the post-Beatles sixties, but they manage to create a sound that's their own, even more so than the like minds of Apples In Stereo, while others seem content in merely changing a few chords of selected rock classics and calling them influences instead of the inspiration, creative force, and original sources they really are. Ah, the slowly dissolving difference between influence and plagiarism ... welcome to the Xerox Generation, ladies and gentleman. Sure, their lyrics may never have been put together in that particular order before but, as any true music aficionado will tell you, it wasn't just the lyrics Robert Plant sang that made him great but how he sang them and The Shins have that, lets call it, soul. They're no fly-by-night fad but a band invested in themselves regardless of us throwing joints and knickers at them, although I'm sure they appreciate it. They'll be here long after Jet and Justin Hawkins have been Posh-ed into retirement to live out their days swimming in their piles of ill-got cash and appearing on "Thought They Were Dead" television specials. Even if you don't like The Shins' psychedelic revival, happy, floaty with a touch of melancholy music, you have to respect the effort.
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Format: Audio CD
Ok, when I picked this cd up, I knew absolutely nothing about it. It's possible that I'd read a review for it in Rolling Stone, but the point is that I bought this cd on vague curiosity alone. If vague curiosity has ever been rewarded, it was that day.
If I had to choose a genre in which to place this album, I'd have to think about it for a long time and then throw up my hands and say "the really good music genre." Each song seems to have some kind of formula -- there's always an acoustic guitar, and almost always some drums, and every once in a while a new instrument will make a cameo. Other than that, every song is easily discernable from the others on the album, somewhat of a rarity in my experience.
The real treat here is James Mercer's lyricism, which does a brilliant job of not only providing each song with its own mood and story, but also serving the song as an instrument in itself -- the sounds of the words he sings are just important to the song as the pitch of Mercer's voice.
All in all, Chutes Too Narrow is an excellent cd that exceeds all expectations -- it did for me, anyway.
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By Bryce Conner on July 18 2004
Format: Audio CD
I was skeptical about this band at first but have grown to love this album. There is not a single song that I don't like. The lyrics are excellent and the tunes are very catchy, yet not too popish. I can't understand where people are coming from who write bad reviews for this CD, and usually when I buy a CD I can see the jist of both the good and bad.
Sure these type of songs have been done before, but the way that they're done make the best set of tracks I've heard in a while, and it still sounds fresh even if it sounds familiar. It is a very fun album to listen to, especially after the second or third time. Like I said there is not a single bad track on the album. I would give it 4-1/2 stars though for being so short (which disappointed me the first time). What is better though, short and sweet or long and boring?
I won't name any bands but I have bought a series of bad CDs in 2004 from major artists and then this one from a previously unknown band (at least to me) finally broke the string. It's refreshing, to say the least, and has renewed my faith in modern music. Maybe that's saying too much but I honestly think it deserves it and is not overhyped.
Who should avoid buying this album? People who don't like independent bands that explore different genres, don't like catchy tunes, or people who simply hate the SUB-POP label and everything it stands for.
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Format: Audio CD
To start with an extreme but a truth, the Shins are very easily one of the best bands I've heard in years. They manage this by drawing together all of my favorite bands into one general sound that is starkly original and defiantly terrific. The Shins are very traditional in many aspects, but very progressive in others. To state another extreme, "Chutes Too Narrow" is very easily the least boring album I've ever heard. Around 33 minutes long, the album is the perfect length, without one wasted moment. One aspect of the songs that blew me away was the lack of long intros: a lot of times bands will start with a chord pattern (like A to E) and will repeat 4 times before they start singing. On "Chutes", though, most of the intros are under 10 seconds, and they are Mercer counting the band in on his acoustic guitar.
The album starts off quickly with brief handclaps and distorted voices shouting, "Woo!" before Mercer's acoustic guitar comes in. The melody starts on an unexpected note, but as you listen you get accustomed to its pattern. Then, the chorus (possibly the strongest chorus on the album) kicks in with a soaring note for Mercer. "You...TOLD us of your new life there!" He sings above the music. As the song ends, you realize that the song you have just heard is easily the best single of 2003, hands down.
"Mine's Not a High Horse" starts with guitar and a rumbling floor tom roll. The song has great lyrics and intersting key work, a descending faux-string part.
"So Says I" has the production work of a great, lost 1960's rock song. The guitar tone is perfect, and James Mercer is the only person who can nearly-shout notes and make them still sound beautiful.
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