Pin It
Favorite

CD Reviews 

by JOEL SMITH and ANDREW MATSON & r &





The Shins


Wincing the Night Away


4 stars





It's no wonder James Mercer's been having a hard time sleeping. His band's been in trouble since Natalie Portman slapped a pair of headphones on Zach Braff in Garden State and told him the band would change his life. How do you follow that?





The Portland-based indie pop quartet has been quiet since their second record (a commercial failure), as Mercer's fought insomnia and a pretty heavy psychic/musical weight, but they're back now. It was worth the wait.





Mercer sounds more confident than ever on Wincing, as the band explores a palette of new sounds (hard-driving guitar here, some Pet Sounds there). From the opening tune -- the dreamy but ultimately exuberant "Sleeping Lessons" -- to the closing seconds, the band sounds in control. The production's crisper. The guitar lines are less tentative. There are moments of weakness, but it's clear that the years since Garden State have at least changed the Shins' lives. For the better.





-- JOEL SMITH





DOWNLOAD: "Sleeping Lessons"











Talib Kweli and Madlib


Liberation


3 Stars





Talib Kweli -- he of Blackstar, Reflection Eternal and Chappelle's Show fame -- has tapped prolific beat-genius Madlib for what has become a staple in hip-hop record release scheduling: the obligatory pre-album mixtape. Ostensibly serving as a warning shot to Kweli's upcoming Eardrum full-length, Liberation's nine original tracks hang together well enough to be considered a coherent EP. Potent guest shots from Consequence, Strong Arm Steady and Candice Anderson further elevate the material to EP status.





Madlib supplies a few bangers of exceptionally Dilla-tastic splendor, but also a few weirdly alienating explorations that are more admirable than listenable. The rub? The thing is free for download at www.rappcats.com along with extremely dope cover art. How can you complain about that? Well, I'm sure you could find a way if you tried, but nobody can deny that two of the underground's finest thoughtfully making free music for their fans is never a bad thing.





-- ANDREW MATSON





DOWNLOAD: "Funny Money"
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Connecting the Dots
  • Connecting the Dots

    How the Washington state budget touches us all in Eastern Washington
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • See a Need, Fill It
  • See a Need, Fill It

    Publisher's Note
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • The Clouds Finally Part
  • The Clouds Finally Part

    A newly protected, 275,000-plus-acre Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness is a monument to working together for Idaho
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Saving Seeds: A Seed Library Event

Saving Seeds: A Seed Library Event @ Hillyard Library

Tue., Sept. 1, 6:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Most Commented On

  • Manufacturing Fear

    Spokane's Republican sheriff says members of his own party are dangerously dividing people
    • Aug 12, 2015
  • 'Flip of a Coin'

    A Spokane Valley deputy trained to spot stoned and drunk drivers is wrong nearly as often as he is right, blood tests from drivers show
    • Aug 19, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


marijuana


Comment


Publisher's Note


BUSINESS


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation