Anyone not taken with the first two albums by The Shins - 'Chutes too Narrow' and 'Oh. Inverted Word' - won't find anything here to convince them otherwise. Those, on the other hand, who found them to be a refreshing breeze of Beatle-ish pop should be satisfied, as 'Wincing the Night Away' is basically more of the same 'It shouldn't work but it does' formula.
Opener, 'Sleeping Lessons' has already edged into the leading pack of my favourite Shins' songs. The band obviously feel comfortable that they have a committed fan base, so start the song off slowly; main-man James Russell Mercer singing over looping keyboard scales, before the rest of the band confidently crash in after 2 and a half minutes. First single 'Phantom Limb' sounds a bit cheesy at first, but is a grower (there's that Shins formula).
Things take a slight left turn with 'Sealegs' slowing it down and making good use of a new drum machine, the squelchy synth solo at the end gets dangerously twee however. But hey. This is The Shins. The band that Natalie Portman said would change your life, in the film ' Garden State' and if there is one thing I'm sure of in life, it's that when Natalie Portman talks to me, I listen and I listen hard.