Chutes Too Narrow Blame it on hip-hop verbosity, but the Shins join a network of word-drunk indie rockers (Bright Eyes, Belle & Sebastian, etc.) who stack images like… Chutes Too Narrow Blame it on hip-hop verbosity, but the Shins join a network of word-drunk indie rockers (Bright Eyes, Belle & Sebastian, etc.) who stack images like… 2003-10-21 The Shins Indie Rock
Review

Chutes Too Narrow (2003)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Oct 21, 2003; Lead Performance: The Shins; Genre: Indie Rock

Blame it on hip-hop verbosity, but the Shins join a network of word-drunk indie rockers (Bright Eyes, Belle & Sebastian, etc.) who stack images like Marshall amps. What makes the Portland, Ore.-based crew especially magical is their ability to make lines like ''This is way beyond my remote concern of being condescending'' actually sound catchy. Like conservatory dropouts raised on the Beach Boys and early English madrigals, they follow 2001's pop-a-licious ''Oh Inverted World'' with just the record you'd want: production a bit bigger (via guitar-magnifier board man Phil Ek), and songs more adventurous but no less indelible. INSPIRATIONAL VERSE ''Fate isn't what we're up against/There's no design, no flaws to find,'' sings frontman James Mercer on ''Young Pilgrims,'' a faintly suicidal ditty.

Originally posted Oct 17, 2003 Published in issue #733 Oct 17, 2003 Order article reprints