I’ve been ignoring The Shins ever since their cloying introduction into mainstream culture in Garden State, what is perhaps one of the most cloying films ever. Not that being mainstream is the problem. There was just a Shinsplosion that was hard to take, really, and I think Natalie Portman’s “unique moment,” besides nearly making me hide under my theater seat and simultaneously lose my lunch (or popcorn), probably had something to do with why I could never pull my Shins records out after being subjected to the film.
In a week, though, Shins front man/songwriter James Mercer and Danger Mouse’s Brian Burton are scheduled to release their debut collaborative effort under the monikor Broken Bells, and the album is surprisingly decent. I can’t call it great, but it is interesting, even if just to hear how two famous songwriters collaborate in a way that allows them to dodge their stereotypical sound (though you’ll still hear Shins reverberations here and there).
You can listen to the full album on NPR Music here for the next week, after which I’ll post a link to my favorite song on the album via Lala, which as of now is either The Ghost Inside or the Beck of Sea Change-like “Citizen.”