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Chutes Too Narrow

The ShinsAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (306 customer reviews)

Price: $14.09 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2003 $9.49  
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'Bait and Switch' from the album Port of Morrow



ix. Introduction
Our story begins in Albuquerque, NM, in 1996. Brought together by a genuine love of pop music – and subsequent eschewal of college aspirations – singer/guitarist James Mercer, drummer Jesse Sandoval, keyboardist Marty Crandall and bassist Dave Hernandez formed The Shins. Mercer had taught himself to play the ... Read more in Amazon's The Shins Store

Visit Amazon's The Shins Store
for 13 albums, 8 photos, 8 videos, and 4 full streaming songs.

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Chutes Too Narrow + OH, INVERTED WORLD [Vinyl] + WINCING THE NIGHT AWAY [Vinyl]
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 21, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • ASIN: B00009LVXT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (306 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,611 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Kissing the Lipless
2. Mine's Not A High Horse
3. So Says I
4. Young Pilgrims
5. Saint Simon
6. Fighting In a Sack
7. Pink Bullets
8. Turn a Square
9. Gone For Good
10. Those to Come

Editorial Reviews

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

Product Description

This is the follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut full-length, "Oh, Inverted World". With ten songs, clocking in at just over 30 minutes, the new record is a brief yet entirely scintillating glimpse at chiming, reflective, and perfectly skewed pop innovation. It's exactly what Shins fans are looking for and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who says acoustic rock can't rock?, January 13, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Most of the associations I have of acoustic rock are not good. To put it bluntly, most acoustic rock doesn't rock. The Shins is not a purely acoustic band; they often and usually employ electric guitars on their songs. But I think this can be labeled an acoustic rock band because almost every song is primarily built around acoustic guitars and is always way to the forefront in the mix. And unlike most acoustic bands, these guys flat out rock. This is one of those albums where every song is so outstanding that it nearly kills you when a song comes to an end. Luckily, the one that follows is almost always just as good, again invoking a sense of dissatisfaction as each ensuing song comes to an end.

Although I don't dislike a single cut on the album, several especially grab me. I love the energy and driving force of "So Says I," which is one of the more "plugged" cuts on the album. I'm equally taken by a beautiful low-fi number "Saint Simon," that sounds like it could come out of the 1960s, a sort of blend of Love and the Kinks. Another song I have trouble getting past (because I keep hitting the replay button) is "Turn a Square," which just grabs me every time I listen to and won't let go of me. I could add the first cut on the album, "Kissing the Lipless," but really, I like every song on the album.

I do not know The Shins' earlier album, OH, INVERTED WORLD, but I have been both delighted and shocked that many fans of that album are disappointed in this one. I'm shocked because I have trouble getting over how good this one is, and delighted because it means that there another great Shins album for me to get my hands on.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Just The Best CD of 2003 July 10, 2005
Format:Audio CD
The October 2003 release of The Shins' "Chutes Too Narrow" should have brought the search for that year's best CD to a screeching halt. And yet, it still managed to miss the top spot of many critics' lists, and to miss the Top 10 entirely on others. My only explaination for this is that these negligent critics did not hear the CD until after their deadlines. (I didn't until May 2004 myself.) That or they were experimenting: "How many CDs can I rank higher than 'Chutes Too Narrow' before I realize the grave injustice that I am committing?" Or maybe, "Obviously 'Chutes Too Narrow' is the best CD of 2003. Here are some other good ones."

By the third time that I listened to The Shins' sophomore triumph, I realized that I had discovered more than just the best new release of the previous year. I had also discovered a disc that was as worthy of accompanying me to a desert island as Elvis Presley's Sun Sessions, "Forever Changes", "The Velvet Underground and Nico", "Setting Sons", "Crazy Rhythms", The Smiths' "Singles", "Exile In Guyville", The Best of Guided By Voices, and "Dear Catastrophe Waitress". It even merits comparison to several of these records. It contains the ornate beauty and simple prettiness of "Forever Changes", but the production is sparser than that of Love's masterpiece. James Mercer's self-deprecating and self-effacing lyrics put him in a league with Morrissey and Stuart Murdoch. The jittery strumming reminds me of The Feelies, and the indie quirkiness of Guided By Voices is firmly in place as well. And while "Chutes Too Narrow" sounds like a product of the 21st century, its homages to classic pop bands like The Zombies, The Beach Boys, and The Kinks are unmistakable. Thus, this CD is a strong link in the Great Chain of Popular Music.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We Could Not Have Hoped For A Better Second Album October 23, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Many an indie rock fan fell in love with the Shins' 2001 debut, "Oh, Inverted World." They seemingly burst on to the scene completely formed, already possessing a sound uniquely their own (they've been together for almost a decade). On "Chutes Too Narrow," the Shins continue to cultivate a reputation for excellent songcraft, though this album provides a slicker production value and a different bass player (Dave Hernandez of Scared of Chaka replaces Neal Langford). Their first album was certainly characterized by a certain sound--one full of driving drum beats, melodic guitars, neat synth effects, and unforgettable vocal harmonies.
On "Chutes Too Narrow," the Shins part ways with that sound to a degree, offering a far more versatile collection of tunes. Some of them, including, 'Gone For Good,' 'Young Pilgrims,' and 'Pink Bullets,' are both acoustic and decidedly twangy. Others, such as 'So Says I' and 'Kissing The Lipless,' are more akin to the sound of the original record, complete with lovely harmonies and unbelievably catchy vocal hooks. This record is markedly different from the first one, but they somehow manage to keep grasp of what makes them The Shins. Whatever your tastes, it is difficult to deny that the songwriting on this album is both well thought out and a sign of excellent pop sensabilities. "Chutes Too Narrow" is a worthy successor to the band's acclaimed debut, hinting that this group will leave its mark both on indie rock history and in the creative minds of future artists--many would argue that they already have.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern masterpiece October 31, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I'll start out with a disclaimer: for people who heard Oh! Inverted World, the Shins' brilliant debut, this isn't it. Of the ten songs on this album, only one would be at home on that album. Where Inverted World was tightly thematic, Chutes Too Narrow is expansive, broad, and diverse. Believe me, that's a good thing. The album meanders between poppy highs (Kissing the Lipless, So Says I, Turn A Square) and melancholy lows (Pink Bullets, Gone For Good), and hits all the ground in between. The Shins have expanded their sound dramatically. There are infusions from folk, rock, metal, blues, and the album slips effortlessly from jangling guitars to acoustic balladry to dream pop and back again, and belying subtle mastery at each.
Chutes Too Narrow is perennially playful, and you can always hear the thematic overtones of the 60's pop-rock they are so often compared to, but at every turn, the songs provide you with inventive new takes on old devices. The album maintains a dichotomy; most of the music is played on upbeat chords, but the lyrics tend to the the darker side ("I know I've got this side of me / that wants to grab the yoke from the pilot / and just fly the whole mess into the sea," sings Mercer in Young Pilgrims). It still comes off as an upbeat album, though, and the closing song, the slow, dreamy, gorgeous "Those To Come" leaves the album on a happy, if slightly bittersweet, note.
All in all, Chutes Too Narrow is one of the best rock albums of the year--it's inventive, catchy, tuneful, and intelligent. You can't go wrong.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
James Mercer is brilliant.
Published 6 days ago by Ashley D. Bird
5.0 out of 5 stars Their best.
I have had this album in digital form for many years. It has always been one of my absolute favorites. I think this is The Shins' best work. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic album, all of the songs are top-notch. I have enjoyed listening to this album for years.
Published 2 months ago by Freakin Music Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars :-)
LOVE!!! Chutes Too Narrow is the best and it came in great condition and I was very pleased with it!!!
Published 4 months ago by sharon squire
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Written and Crafted Songs.
In my opinion this is the only Shins album worth owning. Their first album, they were still looking a unique sound; a little too Beatle-isc. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Rhapsodos Azoil Kallitechnis Strigidae
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Shins CD
I have all for cd's and this is my favorite of them all. It's a solid bit of music from and interesting little band.
Published 9 months ago by michael d.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Shins Album Ever. Get it on vinyl and enjoy that great vintage...
EXCELLENT! Best Shins Album Ever. Get it on vinyl and enjoy that great vintage sound. Also, comes with a digital download.
Published 10 months ago by Josh
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy, melodic album with many memorable moments.
Incredible. Made me realize that I can really get into indie rock. Didn't like indie rock before. No weak songs on the album.
Published 10 months ago by J. Schumer
5.0 out of 5 stars "You Wanna Fight for This Love, But Honey You Cannot Wrestle a Dove"
There's no denying that The Shin's debut album Oh, Inverted World is a modern indie classic and instantly created a curious world of keyboards, bright melodies, and clever lyrics... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Lunar Boulevard
5.0 out of 5 stars a very good cd
The Shins are awesome. To me, they are one of the few indie bands with a solid, inventive, and genius discography. I own every album and have played all four countless times. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Derek Shealey
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