Label: Aural Apothecary/Columbia
Wincing The Night Away was The Shins' breakthrough, an infectiously phantasmagoric experience that helped push indie pop into the mainstream. After a five-year hiatus (one which James Mercer has yet to sufficiently explain), the group returns with Port Of Morrow. Featuring a reconstructed ensemble, the album lacks the vibrant bounce of previous efforts. Likewise, Mercer sounds less emphatic, as he carefully probes the vagaries of domestic life. In this sense, the album's subtle sense of craft shares commonalities with Crowded House's Neil Finn.