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.
My final 2001 album is one I have owned for quite some time, by a band I like a lot. And yet I haven’t listened to The Shins’ Oh, Inverted World enough to have considered it for my list of favorite albums from the year.
I’m glad I’ve had a chance to remedy that, because this is an excellent album, one many critics consider the band’s finest (though I would give that honor to 2012’s Port of Morrow). It is credited with ushering in an era of indie pop more introspective than ironic.
The Shins 2012 album Port of Morrow is one of my very favorites. In fact, I named it the best album of the 00’s so far back in 2014, and I don’t know if anything has dethroned it. There’s a list I’ll have to revisit next year.
Following up that pop masterpiece was going to be difficult, and I regretfully report that they didn’t quite hit it out of the park with this year’s Heartworms. One big caveat: I’ve given Heartworms just a handful of listens and it’s grown on me each time, so it might still climb in my estimation. But it’s no Port of Morrow.
Lucinda Williams advanced easily over Garbage, picking up 91% of the votes, while The Shins won in more of a squeaker, besting Coldplay with 55%. I voted for both of them in those battles. But who should I vote for here? Continue reading