Ben Allen, music editor
Arriving one year after Heartworms, The Shins’ latest release reinterprets every song found on their previous recording. The results, while sometimes interesting, are largely unnecessary as the original was a solid indie-pop effort.
As all of the music featured on Heartworms is being re-imagined, so it’s safe to say that The Worm’s Heart feels slightly confused, stylistically. Songs that used to be rock are now pop ballads, and dirty garage rockers now sound like drunken impressions of the The Postal Service. One highlight is “Heartworms (Flipped),” which re-imagines the original as funky, disco jam. A slight misstep comes in “Half a Million (Flipped)” which explores the genre of rocksteady, something fans of the band will find either confusing or annoying.
It may be obvious to state that primary songwriter James Mercer felt uncomfortable with Heartworms and this is his real vision. Or, it may just be the case that he and his band wanted to approach the songs in a different manner for fun and their own amusement. Regardless, The Worm’s Heart makes for an enjoyable listen, despite being mostly unnecessary.
Rating: 7 out of 12 cans of PBR!