Review | The Shins: Heartworms

Artist: The Shins

Album: Heartworms

CATCHY: More than a few earworms to wriggle their tunes into your brain.

CATCHY: More than a few earworms to wriggle their tunes into your brain.

There is nothing new to the strange soft rock appeal of James Mercer’s The Shins.

Nothing new indeed – but the expected terribly gorgeous songs that mediate on life and glorious alt-pop alternating between youthful observations and a world-weary view of reality.

Heartworms is a mixed affair, however the Beach Boys feel and Mercer’s incredible gift for melodicism lift things above the ordinary.

The spiky opener Name For You is a weird little gem that is almost psychedelic and rather obtuse.

You won’t find another song like it on the album as The Shins veer into familiar territory: country-alt type ballads complete with polished synths that draw you into a world of possibility and despair.

And when the slow somber So Now What comes up in the latter half you may be taken back a bit and reminded how good this band can be.