The Shins Oh, Inverted World

The Shins Oh, Inverted World
Albuquerque, New Mexico is certainly not a hotbed for contemporary pop, but the Shins prove how isolation can breed creativity. Led by songwriter/singer/guitarist James Mercer, the Shins' debut album is a full platter of shimmering psychedelic pop. The album's fully refined and carefully sculpted songs careen through a series of exquisite melodies, intersecting the folk rock of Donovan, the subtle songcraft of the Zombies, the intricacies of XTC and the soft indie pop of Elliot Smith. Lyrically, Mercer is both verbose and touchingly introspective, making brilliant tracks like "Know Your Onion!" and "New Slang" all the more engaging. (Sub Pop)