Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The Shins Chutes Too Narrow released

Chutes Too Narrow

The Shins

Released: October 21, 2003

Peak: 86 US, 82 UK

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US

Genre: post-punk revival


Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Kissing the Lipless [3:19]
  2. Mine’s Not a High Horse [3:20]
  3. So Says I [2:48] (9/21/03, 73 UK)
  4. Young Pilgrims [2:47]
  5. Saint Simon [4:25]
  6. Fighting in a Sack [2;26] (7/13/04, 94 UK)
  7. Pink Bullets [3:53] (5/5/05, --)
  8. Turn a Square [3:11]
  9. Gone for Good [3:13]
  10. Those to Come [4:24]
All songs by James Mercer.

Total Running Time: 33:50

The Players:

  • James Mercer (vocals, guitar, harmonica)
  • Dave Hernandez (bass)
  • Marty Crandall (keyboards)
  • Jesse Sandoval (drums)


3.977 out of 5.00 (average of 31 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

The Shins are a post-punk revival indie rock band which formed in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1996. They released six albums from 2001 to 2017 with lead singer/multi-instrumentalist James Mercer as the only constant. It took five years before the release of their debut album, Oh, Inverted World, in 2001, but then just two years passed before the release of sophomore effort Chutes Too Narrow.

While the first album had a “lo-fi” sound, the second album featured cleaner production thanks to being mixed by producer Phil Ek, who also worked with Built to Spill and Modest Mouse. Even so, the recording facility was nothing fancy. The band recorded the album in the basement of James Mercer’s former home because it was cheaper than using a real studio. WK

The New Yorker said the album showcased “better writing, better playing and better singing.” WK It was also a more guitar-driven album compared to the more keyboard-heavy sound of the first album. Magnet said it was “a better record than the Shins’ first – a sonically bolder production with fewer effects and more hooks.” WK

Rolling Stone called it “a study in old-school pop songwriting, full of Sixties-style psychedelic folk rock, abundant pop hooks and James Mercer’s inimitable high-pitched croon.” WK Pitchfork’s Matt LeMay called it “a powerful testament to pop music’s capacity for depth, beauty, and expansiveness.” WK

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First posted 3/10/2022.

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