Lead single from The Shin’s first album in five years is, indeed, a Simple Song – and one with an undeniable hook that booms from on high. It’s practically majestic in it’s ability to grab attention. I can’t help but imagine it being played over a rolling countryside and baby rabbits stopping whatever it is that baby rabbits do when they are busy, to sit up on their cute hind quarters, twitching those little noses they have and pay attention as the sun beams pulse in time to the songs rhythm and teh landscape fills with it’s swelling synth colours. Obviously, my imagination is animated like Watership Down.
Opening track, A Rifle’s Spiral plays with some electronic elements which grab some attention; electro bubbles appear among the familiar indie-pop of Bait and Switch too. Occupy protest-inspired No Way Down chugs with the rhythms of machinations, while tracks like 40 Mark Strasse and Fall of ’82 recalls nostalgic AM radio soft rock, as latterly, a letter of thanks to his sister; an unexpected trumpet solo just after halfway is a stroke of genius. But there are moments of falter; indeed, some might make laurel resting accusations, even; September is decidedly wet, as is the gentle sway of For A Fool, for instance.
Shins fans will be amply rewarded, overall, though as will Mercer, I suspect as his palatable made-for-tv-indie-pop will do little to offend mom-n-pop investors.