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Oh, Inverted World + Chutes Too Narrow + Wincing The Night Away (Vinyl)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 26 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Sub Pop-Internation.
  • ASIN: B00005JSHW
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,058 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Caring Is Creepy
2. One By One All Day
3. Weird Divide
4. Know Your Onion!
5. Girl Inform Me
6. New Slang
7. The Celibate Life
8. Girl On The Wing
9. Your Algebra
10. Pressed In A Book
11. The Past And Pending

Product Description

Product Description


Oh, Inverted World, the sun-baked debut album from Albuquerque indie quartet The Shins, signposts a fascinating change of direction for Sub Pop Records. Back in the early 90s, bands like Nirvana and Mudhoney made the name synonymous with the dark, angst-ridden grunge sound. Now, it would seem, Sub Pop wears a flower in its hair. The florid harmonies and bucolic acoustics of "Caring Is Creepy" and "Know Your Onion" bring to mind a vision of the verdant hills and gleaming bays of California that's remained largely dormant since The Beach Boys hung up their surfboards: a sound that's undeniably nostalgic, but so vividly realised and perfectly recorded it seems almost churlish to mention it. It's not all simple sunshine pop, either: the delicate, melancholy spaghetti western strum of "New Slang" recalls the barren desertscapes of Ennio Morricone, while the shadowy, monastic vocals and trilling cellos of "Your Algebra" provide a chilling two minutes of commendably dark psychedelia. Sure, it might have one foot in the past but Oh, Inverted World sounds like a fresh start for Sub Pop--one that drowns out the muddy roar of grunge with the hum of good vibrations. --Louis Pattison

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "blankmoses" on Oct. 17 2003
Format: Audio CD
When I first popped in this cd I wasn't listening very carefully - still, I was blown away by the sound. The diversity of styles is impressive, and the album both captures a lot of great sounds from the 60s and develops an original, modern sound of its own. These guys can make great music. In particular, they can mix folky acoustic rhythm guitar with electronic effects as good as anyone else. And they can write good pop music.
The first thing that frustrated me with this album is the vocals. The melodies are nice, but its hard to catch the lyrics. For one thing, the vocal levels are a bit low in comparison with the other mid-range sounds. On top of that, there's a good deal of reverb in the production, and on numerous songs it sounds like there are two nearly identical vocal tracks with slightly different timing and different pan. With Mercer's lazy singing style the combined effect are vocals that blend well with the album's sound a little too well, making it hard to understand the words.
But my hardness of hearing has turned out to be fortunate for me since I don't like the lyrics at all. To me, the lyrics sound like bad school-assignment free-verse poems. It's a matter of taste, I guess, but for me the album is only good for background music, or a careful listen to sound only. It's a good album, with some great ingenuity and display of talent - but a three-starrer, not five.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Whitfeld on Feb. 17 2003
Format: Audio CD
I'm finding it increasingly difficult these days to find entire albums I simply adore. The core of my musical being belongs to bands like the Smiths, Pulp, Suede, and Belle and Sebastian, who I believe carried on the torch dropped by Morrissey & Marr in this dark, dusty new millenium. But this little masterpiece called "Oh, Inverted World" by the Shins seems destined to head down that same gilded path.
I stumbled on this band by accident, looking up other acts on Amazon such as Stereo Total and Death by Chocolate. I was surprised to find out the Shins weren't from the UK, because they have a Britpop sound. Their soft, infectious rhythyms make it hard to do anything else except listen closely. Pretty much all the songs on this CD are exceptionally strong, with little filler. Okay, maybe "Your Algebra" references Os Mutantes a bit much, and yes, fine, "The Past and Pending" feels a bit long at the end there, but why carp? This album rolls dreamily by, as pretty and sublime as puffy white clouds in a clear blue spring sky. The thing is: this album is candy. Sweet and piercing, it will cloy lovingly at your heart, without you quite understanding why or how. And that's just fine.
"Know Your Onion" and "New Slang" are my two favorite songs, because they're sung in an aching ballad tempo with a bit of added verve behind it. Just my style. If you like Belle and Sebastian, but prefer their snappier (although more rare) tracks to their more heartfelt precious songs, then you'll really love the Shins. The album opener, "Caring is Creepy" immediately demands attention, because it has a soaring melody, with a glam-rock bent that recalls, oddly enough, Roxy Music. All the songs hang solidly onto quick, shocking melodies, and make their statement.
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By Jack Barrett on July 3 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the best albums I've heard in a very very long time. I heard of the Shins from all the hype they had created due to this album and its follow up Chutes too Narrow. Well, I had some money to blow and I went on down to my local record store to hear the next best thing to sliced bread and I found this one lone copy of Oh Inverted World and paid my money and left, not really expecting much. Boy, was I wrong, this album is like Syd Barrett(my most favorite artist ever), The Byrds and The Beach Boys all blended together into one blissful psychedelic mix. These songs are happy, friendly, subdued and of course a little drug induced. The lyrics are cryptic but lush on imagery and have a frank honest tone to them and their delivery by Mercer even futhers the impact. But the best thing about this album is the actual music in my opinion. Its like a warm cascading waterfall or a lazy summer day spent in the shade. It is definitley an odd ball on Sub Pop's catalog along side the grungy likes of Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney but I give Sub Pop a thumbs up for change and for finding one of the best modern rock-pop acts ever. If you enjoyed this album I reccomend Chutes too Narrow and Syd Barrett's The Madcap Laughs.
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Format: Audio CD
No, I'm listening to The Shins stunning debut "Oh, Inverted World"
Each song is a masterpiece of its own right, but I prefer the seemingly different 'Past and The Pending' because of its interesting horn work and downtrodden feel. This band took the indie world by storm when this album came out. It was entirely out of left-field: A psychedilic (sp) rock band out of New Mexico? How does that happen? and what's that? They sound good? sign me up.
Its interesting to note that the track 'Celibate Life' not about abstinence in its traditional sense, but rather keeping away from drugs, which can be seen as satrical given the era they are borrowing from.
The imagery is what really sells this album. Nowhere else will you find emotional imagery as vivid as The Shins (ex. Her lips when she speaks are the valleys and peaks of a mountain range on fire) Its incredible to visualize and to just ponder.
Definitely one of the best albums of 2001 even with all the other great debuts of the year.
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