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Shins revive traditional pop

Band to promote 10th album of well-crafted punk at Launchpad

The Shins' 10th album, Oh, Inverted World is a relaxing listen with simple melodies and lulling vocals. James Mercer, vocalist and guitarist, sounds like a young Brian Wilson, giving the album an intriguing bounce in its step.

Oh, Inverted World is traditional, well-crafted pop music reminiscent of the Beach Boys, not the Backstreet Boys, with a dash of punk thrown into the mix for an interesting and fun listen.

Guitar and drums lead the pack, while bass and keyboards follow closely behind, forming 11 tight, smooth tracks.

Back in 1997, The Shins began to come together as a whole. Earlier, the band was also known as Flake and Flakemusic. After renaming the band, The Shins dropped some guitars - mixing a single guitar with bass, drums and keyboards. Newly renamed, the band began working on a new sound. James Mercer, Marty Crandall, Neal Langford and Jesse Sandoval have been together for nine years and 10 albums, producing a sound that is poppy - yet not annoyingly syrupy.

The methodical drum beats along with the guitar of James Mercer work well together to bring the listener into the music and each song. The songs produced by The Shins are simple musically, but the band brings each song together seamlessly, forming an album that is enjoyable from beginning to end.

Oh, Inverted World builds up slowly from the onset to the finale - musically becoming a little more challenging, but progressing just as the listener is while listening. With most songs clocking in at under three minutes, the album leaves the listener wanting more. Each song may be short, but each song leads into the next, progressing internally and proving that The Shins are a band that has the talent to be around for a while.

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The Shins will be playing tonight at the Launchpad with ex-Pavement member Spiral Stairs of Preston School of Industry. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show is definitely one not to miss. If you don't make it to the show, check out Oh, Inverted World; you won't regret it. It is a great album, overflowing with great songs.

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