Review: The Shins – ‘Name For You’

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It may fade into the background and grow repetitive, but it is not without its merits.

Even after two decades and an ever-changing lineup that only retains one founding member – new album Heartworms, their first in five years, is the first with three of the current five to join singer/guitarist James Mercer – The Shins’ latest isn’t much of a departure from their tried and tested indie rock formula. ‘Name For You’ could all too easily slot into the tracklist any one of their four previous albums, though perhaps that’s down to Mercer’s distinctive vocals, however much they don’t quite do enough to redeem the bland lyrics: “They’ve got a name for you girls” seems to repeat endlessly without coming to any meaningful conclusion.

Regardless of the lyrics, ‘Name For You’ is certainly upbeat and if you’re a fan of Mercer’s voice it may come as a relief that his falsetto delivers as always. It’s an indication that Heartworms, out March 10th, will bring more of the same from The Shins despite the lineup changes and five-year hiatus following Port Of Morrow, their last offering, even though very little about it stands out.

‘Name For You’ is out now via Columbia Records

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Politics with Social Policy student, nerd, prone to strong opinions, and enthusiastic kazoo player.

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