Home Read Classic Album Review: The Shins | Oh, Inverted World

Classic Album Review: The Shins | Oh, Inverted World

The debut from Jim Mercer & co. won't upend your existence, but it will improve it.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Despite its title, this debut album from The Shins is more about converging worlds than inverted ones.

This 11-song offering from this Albuquerque foursome — who previously recorded as Flake and Flakemusic — infuses the sweet ’60s melodicism and meticulous craftsmanship of The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson with the scrappy post-punk energy and lo-fi psychedelia of the Elephant 6 collective. Singer-songwriter Jim Mercer’s high-register vocals and self-flagellating romantic melancholia (“Let me walk these coals till you believe / I can cut the mustard well enough”) add a charming fragility to the whole proceedings. It might not turn your world upside-down, but it will make it a better place for 33:29.