• Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: Jan 23, 2007
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 186 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 186

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  1. romanmc
    Mar 5, 2007
    5
    Instantly forgetable first and then repeatedly forgetable after subsequent listens. "Australia" and "Sea Legs" are quality and salvage some measure of decency. I just think that this band could do a lot more with this record. They are good musicians, write inventive pop music and have one of the better pop/rock singers going. But someone needs to tell Mercer to stop writing lyrics like Instantly forgetable first and then repeatedly forgetable after subsequent listens. "Australia" and "Sea Legs" are quality and salvage some measure of decency. I just think that this band could do a lot more with this record. They are good musicians, write inventive pop music and have one of the better pop/rock singers going. But someone needs to tell Mercer to stop writing lyrics like "dodo's cunundrum" and "fond of you, fond of y-o-u." And I don't think it's cute that "Phantom Limb" is supposed to be written from the perspective of teenage lesbians. Mercer's lyrics and storytelling tend to detract from what the whole of this group. He tries too hard to be obtuse. Expand
  2. tbone
    Apr 29, 2007
    5
    Australia is the only good song on the album. It's pretty much an homage to the baby boom generation and 60s music, which totally blows.
  3. FancyPants
    Jan 30, 2007
    4
    Very disappointed and surprised by all the great reviews this has gotten. I listened to CTN pretty much non stop when I got it, but I don't think I'll be pulling this one off the shelf too often. Sleeping Lessons is great, Australia is good and Phantom Limb has grown on me despite its plodding pace. But the rest is filler and unmemorable.
  4. MikeH
    Jan 30, 2007
    4
    More than anything I was dissapointed that there wasn't a song that just explodes out of the speakers, like "Kissing the Lipless" and a few songs on the first record. This album is very tame (not always a bad thing) and seems really level dynamically -- not a whole lot of peaks and valleys. The beats are pretty reserved too, and never especially punchy or rock-like. Between Flake More than anything I was dissapointed that there wasn't a song that just explodes out of the speakers, like "Kissing the Lipless" and a few songs on the first record. This album is very tame (not always a bad thing) and seems really level dynamically -- not a whole lot of peaks and valleys. The beats are pretty reserved too, and never especially punchy or rock-like. Between Flake Music and Chutes I expected them to stay agressive with melodies, rhythms and dynamic and this disc feels kinda timid to me. Really timid actually. Expand
  5. DanB.
    Jan 23, 2007
    6
    Good. Nowhere near as good as their first two. Granted, I've only listened three times and it might be one of those albums that grow on you. The first two albums, though, where those sort of albums that you knew instantly were good, and *then* they grew on you some more. Oh well.
  6. BenjaminW
    Jan 24, 2007
    6
    I'm a huge fan for a long time. This is an enormous disappointment. So much filler on this thing. I really wish it was better than it is.
  7. andresl
    Jan 31, 2007
    6
    i think they are getting such good reviews because of their previous albums but this one is clearly inferior. phantom limps and turn on me are great , while australia and sleeping lessons are good enough. the rest of the record just doesn't cut it. And there are some songs like Sea legs that are just bad. Too slick for my taste and not enough good songs.
  8. Jake
    Feb 7, 2007
    6
    I like the Shins very much when they don't carry that poppy, high tone jingle sound. The only song on this album I could thoroughly enjoy was Sea Legs. It has an interesting beat that would continuously cut out and come back and is bridged with a driving mid-tone. This song moves with direction while most others seem to reach out for that kind of song, but are just left coming down I like the Shins very much when they don't carry that poppy, high tone jingle sound. The only song on this album I could thoroughly enjoy was Sea Legs. It has an interesting beat that would continuously cut out and come back and is bridged with a driving mid-tone. This song moves with direction while most others seem to reach out for that kind of song, but are just left coming down from some artificial high to the chilled songs of Spilt Needles and Black Wave. All in all, Wincing sounds good but I cannot get into it. Expand
  9. BrianJ
    Mar 8, 2007
    6
    Okay, but I hear nothing new from this band. This sounds exactly like their other stuff. Overall: good, but they don't appear to be evolving as a band.
  10. daveg
    Jan 22, 2007
    5
    where did the melodies go?
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Wincing is neither the clever genre recombinant exercise of their second album nor is it the perfect little self-contained universe of their debut. This is not the Shins' best album; it's their growing pains third record.
  2. I usually find Shins albums grow on me slowly but surely yet after a good dozen plays I feel my faith isn't being repaid this time, and as a fan that's frustrating.
  3. Wincing the Night Away feels labored. Gracefully realized though it is, you can hear the three-plus years Mercer spent pondering how to satisfy the expectations his surprise classic had created -- and also how to remain fresh and true to himself.