Album Review: The Shins “The Worm’s Heart”

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!

About Ben Allen

Our music editor Ben Allen was born one stormy evening in a quaint Northern California coastal village. Upon birth he was immediately exposed to the soothing analog sounds of artists such as Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Captain Beefheart and Santana. As the lad grew, so did his appreciation for an assortment of abrasive hard rock. A pubescent flirtation with butt metal was shattered in the early 1990’s by exposure to Nirvana and other so-called “Alternative” bands. While in college, our protagonist became a DJ on a local station, and began work as a freelance music journalist. During this period he became entranced with artists such as Tortoise, Slint, Modest Mouse, Guided By Voices and Pavement. Currently Allen resides in Arcata, CA where he continues to obsess and salivate over new recordings by his favorite artists. He works with music industry people to ensure that Savage Henry’s contributors receive music and other promotional materials. He also writes a silly monthly list titled “Ben’s 10.”

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