Released: March 20th
It's a bit of a surprise for Port of Morrow to sound the way it does. Frontman James Mercer is The Shins' lone remaining original member, and it's been five years since the band's last album. Mainstream music has changed into a more electronic landscape yet The Shins still maintain their signature guitar-pop core. This isn't a bad thing though.
Port of Morrow finds The Shins constantly switching melodies, but nothing feels superfluous. Each song is tight and, like the best pop music, catchy. Mercer's lyricism doesn't hurt either. His sharp songwriting is once again on display as he sings with optimism, sarcasm, and honesty. There's so many things going on, but somehow it all sounds, well, simple.