It has been a long five years since The Shins’ last release of Wincing the Night Away in 2007. The front man, James Mercer, took up a side project leading a band named Broken Bells.
Bringing a lot of the Broken Bells essence to their new Ports of Morrow album, released on Columbia Records, the album has a new kind of darker and slower feel to it, compared to the former albums.
Mercer has replaced a couple of previous The Shins’ members with Broken Bells’ members. The truth is that it does not matter who leaves or stays in the band, as long as James Mercer is a part of it. James Mercer IS The Shins. He brings the sound that was able to bring in the fans in the first place.
I would not say the album is as great as their first , Oh, Inverted World, or their most recent either. This one is equally as great. Each album brought a new sound that surprised me at first but with Ports of Morrow I felt like if I heard the sound before.
With a new album comes new favorite songs. My top two would be “Simple Song” and “Port of Morrow.”
“Simple Song” reminds me a lot of Oh, Inverted World’s “Know Your Onion” and “Girl Inform Me.” The up beatness of the song was great. You do not hear it much in the album and I am glad that they added a song that can compare to the old them.
“Port of Morrow” has to be my favorite song. It has this bluesy feeling to it that is not a new experiment for The Shins, but it seems as if they perfected it with “Ports of Morrow.”
Like I said before, this is not their best or their worst. It had a couple of songs that I had to force myself to listen to and later skipped on impulse.
I recommend for everyone to give Ports of Morrow and The Shins a try. It will grow on you after a couple of listens.