Chutes Too Narrow Image

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 171 Ratings

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  • Summary: Phil Ek produced this sophomore effort for the Albuquerque-based group led by James Mercer (also of Flake), who wowed critics in 2001 with their 1960s-flavored debut 'Oh, Inverted World.'
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. 100
    It sears through the essence of what makes this band special, the brave voice and ebullient delivery of singer-songwriter-guitarist James Mercer. [Apr 2004, p.98]
  2. On every tune, Mercer packs more hooks and melodic invention than most bands do on one album. As a whole, it's an even better record than Inverted World.
  3. 90
    A better record than the Shins' first--a sonically bolder production with fewer effects and more hooks per square inch than a flyrod factory. [#61, p.109]
  4. Without the thrill of discovery, it's no shock that the returns have diminished slightly on Chutes Too Narrow. But a minor step down from greatness still sounds damn good.
  5. If you can’t find something here that has you smiling and quoting the old saw about rumours of indie’s death being greatly exaggerated, it’s time to take up opera.
  6. Recalls the overwhelming splendour of the Go-Betweens at their finest.
  7. Seems to be the culmination and synthesis of a solid musical progression from good, yet uncertain and unchallenging, pop music to better, more confident, but still unchallenging, pop music.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 2 out of 109
  1. Nov 3, 2010
    I know like me a lot of people got into this band after watching Garden State. I did and I am not ashamed of that! I love this band even today where their sound might not have aged well. I remember this album very fondly because the music was perfect for me for the time and what I was going through in life. Expand
  2. Mar 22, 2012
    This album is the perfect example of Mercer's amazing song writing abilities. Each track on the album is filled with witty phrases and carefully crafted diction that listening to once is not an option. This songs are timeless. The opening track, "Kissing the Lipless," sounds nothing like the songs from the previous album, but makes a fresh new style for The Shins on this album. Chutes Too Narrow switches it up from "New Slang," a song that made the band popular, but new in this case, new is definitely not bad. Fantastic album, just perfect. Expand
  3. Sep 5, 2013
    Despite the boring performances, The Shins (James Mercer) has been a part of countless brilliant pieces of music and this album is his master piece...
  4. Mar 20, 2011
    May not be better than Oh, Inverted World but Chutes Too Narrow is a near perfect album.The melodic hooks is so catchy, that it'll be stuck in your head long before you hear the album. It also gets better with each listen and I know that's a cliche but it's very true. The opener "Kissing The Lipless" is a wonderful opener that really shows James Mercer's vocal talent. He truly is a wonderful singer. The musicianship is great and the lyrics will get to you. All In All, Chutes Too Narrow is an adventure through weird places that I recommend you definitely take a ride on this expedition. A- Expand
  5. j30
    Jan 24, 2012
    This is my favorite record by a band named The Shins. There's no sophomore slump to be seen here, in fact I think it's better than it's predecessor.

See all 109 User Reviews

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