Port of Morrow

  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: Mar 20, 2012
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
Buy On
  1. Apr 5, 2012
    60
    It's an interesting listen but doesn't leave a strong impression.
  2. Mar 22, 2012
    60
    While there's no doubt that Port of Morrow is well crafted, then, it fails because it is ultimately unmoving, and what Mercer has gained in style and execution is overshadowed by the album's lack of either invention or sincerity.
  3. 60
    Even if the Mensa-folk crew feel dumbed down on, there's just enough Mercer magic on Morrow to light up your local drop-in centre.
  4. Mar 20, 2012
    60
    Port of Morrow seems much more a step sideways than forward for Mercer, not so much a dramatic comeback but more a compilation of greatest hits masquerading as new songs.
  5. It's the very definition of "not bad", but surely there's some urgent paint you need to watch drying instead?
  6. Mar 19, 2012
    60
    Ample evidence of why Mercer's songs are so widely cherished. But there remains something a little clinical about the efficiency with which he dispatches these studies in perky wistfulness.
  7. 60
    Port of Morrow captures Mercer in a different era, and although questionable at times, it's a fruitful adventure that requires a little swinging and paddling.
  8. Mar 19, 2012
    60
    The results are hit or miss going forward.
  9. Mar 16, 2012
    60
    'Port Of Morrow' is a glorious and confident return, even if it lacks a little darkness at times.
  10. Mar 15, 2012
    60
    If it's not an album to turn the listener into a screaming proselyte, there's still enough magic to make it worthwhile.
  11. Magnet
    Mar 12, 2012
    60
    There's a brighter sheen to the new Shins ... [yet] too often feels like Mercer's straining and striving when he used to be quirky and charming. [No. 85, p.51]
  12. May 7, 2012
    55
    "Bait and Switch," the best song on Port of Morrow, recaptures some of this eager, joyful glee; but in my opinion, the rest of the album holds none of these virtues.
  13. Mar 19, 2012
    50
    The latest full-length from the latest version of The Shins has some amazing songs.... But it also has some of the worst songs The Shins have ever produced.
  14. Under The Radar
    Jul 9, 2012
    40
    An aesthetically perfect long play er that dithers in the background. [Jun 2012, p.155]
  15. Mar 19, 2012
    40
    For all the talk that's bound to come up over the album's production, Port of Morrow's problem isn't 't have a whole lot at stake.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. j30
    Mar 20, 2012
    9
    The Shins Port of Morrow is triumphant return. Unlike Radiohead's TKOL and Red Hot Chili Peppers' I'm With You, it's one of those albums youThe Shins Port of Morrow is triumphant return. Unlike Radiohead's TKOL and Red Hot Chili Peppers' I'm With You, it's one of those albums you look forward to months in advance and it doesn't disappoint. Full Review »
  2. Mar 20, 2012
    10
    A great addition to The Shins' discography, and easily the best album to have been released this year (as of so far at least). While it lacksA great addition to The Shins' discography, and easily the best album to have been released this year (as of so far at least). While it lacks some of the poignant lows of previous albums, the soaring highs carry the album far above many previous ventures of Mercer's. Although at times Port of Morrow can sound quite crisp and clean in comparison to the dark instrumentation of Wincing the Night Away or the lo-fi element of Oh, Inverted World, it still manages to hold its own, proving once again the prowess of James Mercer's abilities. Overall, I love this album to death, and while it does threaten to fizzle out towards the end, it's incredibly enjoyable and a great listen. Full Review »
  3. Apr 19, 2012
    3
    I'd have to disagree with j30...I found it an album I looked forward to for months and found hugely disappointing. "Wincing..." still getsI'd have to disagree with j30...I found it an album I looked forward to for months and found hugely disappointing. "Wincing..." still gets regular plays after years of listening, but this? I've made myself listen to this on and off for about 2 weeks, hoping for something, but its just fairly insipid in the main. That would be reasonable, but there are a number of songs which make me want to turn it off immediately. This is mainly due to lyrics (e.g. the first use of the term "ducks in a row" outside of a business meeting full of chubby guys in chinos, or that stuff about dishwater disguised as lemonade) but there are also some musical moments where they seem to be striving for some kind of MOR-type appeal (maybe those chubby guys at the meeting? "Hey Chet, great slides, have you heard of the Shins, they're this new band..."). There are a few decent tunes, Simple Song stands out but I'm already getting a little sick of it. One review I read described it as music made especially for people in their late 30s who still want to feel a bit cool. The reviewer meant it as a good thing, and yeah I'd fall into that category but that statement kind of sums up how it sounds to me. Full Review »