Best Albums of the 2010s – #4
Port of Morrow – The Shins (2012)
When I listed my top albums of the decade so far back at the end of 2014, The Shins’ Port of Morrow claimed the top spot. Five years later, it’s lost none of its lustre.
Frontman James Mercer parted ways with his band’s original lineup prior to writing and recording this album, and kept the Shins name despite tackling the project as essentially a one-man band.
The Random iTunes Dairy has been reading the blog again. How else can we explain today’s “random” selection from The Shins’ album Port of Morrow just two days after I sang its praises?
This is the title track and the album’s final song, and it has a much more ethereal quality than the rest of the record. James Mercer sings in a falsetto reminiscent of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.
Best Albums of the 10s So Far
#1 – The Shins – Port of Morrow
I remember a line a TV commentator used to describe the Denver Broncos’ Terrell Davis, during the brief stint in the late 90s when he was the NFL’s best running back.
“His strength is that he has no weaknesses.”
Top Songs of 2012 – #2
My second favorite song of the year comes from my second favorite album, The Shins’ Port of Morrow. Singer/songwriter James Mercer outdid himself on this album, shedding the backing musicians who’d accompanied him on the previous Shins albums then crafting the band’s best work yet.
Though Port of Morrow‘s songs run the gamut content-wise, its finest moment belongs to the most old-fashioned topic of all — the love song.
The Shins’ most recent album, Port of Morrow, is chock full of excellent songs about a wide and fascinating range of topics. One in particular, ‘Fall of ’82,’ stands out for me because it’s an ode to singer-songwriter James Mercer’s older sister.
These lyrics remind me very much of my relationship with my own sister, who was always my first and best confidant. It’s a relationship I see mirrored in her own children, who are also five years apart, a younger brother and older sister.
Until I heard the album that sits on top of this list (only a few weeks ago), I didn’t think anything would unseat The Shin’s Port of Morrow as my favorite album of the year.
This is the band’s fourth album and far and away their best, though if you listen to many of their fans you’ll hear just the opposite. For some people, the presence of monster hooks and indelible choruses is somehow a bad thing.