The great thing about “Wincing the Night Away” is that not only is it a suitable effort for long-time fans of the band, but it’s also a great disc for Shin’s newcomers. There’s a perfect balance between their artistic raw past and bright-produced tracks that they do now.
Most of the songs on this album are dead on. The album sets the standard on track one with “Sleeping Lessons”, a melodic, experimental piece that moves from being experimental to being a normal Shins song back to being to being a good Shins song. Some other songs of note on this album include “Australia”, the single “Phantom Limb”, “Red Rabbits”, “Turn on Me”, “Sealegs” and “Spilt Needles.”
There are some misses on the Shin’s latest release. “Black Wave” is an okay song, but it takes too long for it to decide where it wants to go. “Girl Sailor” is a repeat of sorts of some other songs on the album, it’s not bad, but it’s probably a track you’ll skip because it’s a six minute song. And the last track- “A Comet Appears” starts out with lots of potential, it eventually disappoints though by not really going anywhere.
“Wincing the Night Away” is a great return for The Shins, and although it’s not their best album, it’s still good. The challenge that this band faces isn’t to set the bar higher with each release, it’s to keep from regressing from an incredibly artistic and fresh sound. So far, so good.