Port of Morrow - The Shins
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 64
  2. Negative: 2 out of 64

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  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 you look forward to months in advance and it doesn't disappoint.
  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 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. Collapse
  3. Jun 11, 2012
    9
    I'm an average, at best, Shins fan. I've always found flaws in their production, song construction, etc. when others praise their eclectic and almost jazz-like approach to songwriting that has frequently been void of enough melody for me to completely swallow their greatness. That changes tremendously with Port of Morrow. While purists may not agree, this is, by far my favorite Shins album. Their production is cleaner, more professional and brings out the greatness of their unique structure, while also driving melody through them. "The Rifle's Spiral," "It's Only Life," "No Way Down," and "40 Mark Strausse" are the highlights in an almost perfect album. Expand
  4. Sep 2, 2012
    9
    Though it might not be "critically brilliant", Port of Morrow is one of very few albums in 2012 that I still listen to frequently months after its release.
  5. Mar 20, 2012
    9
    It is a great album, it sounds like a combination of their previous albums and may be their best, most consistent album since Chutes Too Narrow. I highly recommend this album to both people new to The Shins and long time listeners.
  6. Mar 21, 2012
    9
    While Oh, Inverted World remains my favorite Shins release (so typical, I know), several listens to Port of Morrow place it second in line behind their debut and ahead of Chutes Too Narrow and Wincing the Night Away. James Mercer's lyrical skills are front and center - as is his voice - with a set of more consistently good songs. (As opposed to the occasional hiccups that appeared on Chutes Too Narrow and the much more inconsistent Wincing the Night Away.) Highlights include: "Fall of '82" -- great chord and tempo changes AND a trumpet (yes, trumpet!) solo; opener "The Rifle's Spiral" -- reminiscent of elements of previous openers "Kissing the Lipless" and "Caring is Creepy"; "September" -- sounds like this was the finished track for which Wincing the Night Away's "Girl Sailor" (along with elements of "Red Rabbits") was merely a demo; and "Bait and Switch." Port of Morrow was well worth the wait. Expand
  7. Mar 24, 2012
    10
    Port of Morrow is the best album I've heard in recent years, and it is working its way higher in my all-time favorites list with each listen. The album is replete with beautiful melodies, harmonies, bridges, instrumentation, lyrics, and production. Like The Shinsâ
  8. Feb 6, 2013
    9
    All in all, this album is a lot of great work. Not perfect, but there are some addictive tracks on here, and Mercer brings some great additions to the Shins catalogue.
  9. Jan 20, 2014
    9
    I always tried to get into The Shins, but I never could. Until I heard "Simple Song"
    What is "Simple Song" well it's the second track, and the highlight of the album, and it represents the rest of the album, you come for Simple Song, and stay for the whole album.
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
  1. 90
    With Port of Morrow Mercer digs deep in forming a polished and almost, muscular relationship with the music.
  2. Jul 9, 2012
    40
    An aesthetically perfect long play er that dithers in the background. [Jun 2012, p.155]
  3. 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.