Phantom Limb - The Shins (2006)
The Shins broke big because of two things: The release of Chutes Too Narrow in 2003 and the Garden State soundtrack in 2004. Chutes Too Narrow was a critical smash, which the mainstream music press embraced just as much as the music blogs that were beginning to pop up at the time. Garden State exploded the band's status, with a hit soundtrack heavy on their work and dialogue references in the film.
Of course, the followup was going to experience a tad bit of backlash. It seemed though that Wincing The Night Away was backlash proof. it was hailed in the same breath as Chutes and, in a marginal way, as much as the hip critics did for their debut Oh Inverted World. The incredible first single probably helped a lot. While James Mercer describes it as a fantasia on a young lesbian couple dealing with prejudice, it rises above the earnestness of a message song because of the band's indelible knack for harnessing hooks.
Mercer now has side projects galore to deal with, but the hopeful still wait anxiously for what The Shins will deliver to us next.
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