AOTY 2019

Port of Morrow

The Shins - Port of Morrow
Critic Score
Based on 33 reviews
2012 Ratings: #560 / 955
User Score
Based on 142 ratings
2012 Ratings: #219
March 20, 2012 / Release Date
LP / Format
Columbia / Aural Apothecary / Label
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theshins.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
musicOMH

These are songs to fall in love to, to grow along with, and to share with friends in need of a life-change.

84
Pitchfork

Port of Morrow, the Shins' fourth studio album in 11 years, is a triumphant return from a project that once risked being reduced to an indie-went-mainstream tagline.

80
Drowned in Sound

This collection of songs, though, is strong enough to endure even the most ardent attempts at mainstreaming.

69
Beats Per Minute

Port Of Morrow seems a unnecessary asterix on an already successful career, and one that I fear future Mercer albums will mimic.

67
A.V. Club

The Shins were once billed as a band that would change your life—Morrow sounds like a change of life.

60
The 405

Port of Morrow is certainly at its most impactful when it is stripped bare and we’re left with a man and his guitar, but sadly it’s a fleeting occurrence. 

60
Consequence of Sound

Port of Morrow captures Mercer in a different era, and although questionable at times, it’s a fruitful adventure that requires a little swinging and paddling.

60
NME

As ‘Port Of Morrow’ develops it becomes ever more knowingly arena-folk, shedding The Shins’ more esoteric edge. 

60
No Ripcord

While there’s no doubt that Port of Morrow is well crafted, then, it fails because it is ultimately unmoving, and what Mercer has gained in style and execution is overshadowed by the album’s lack of either invention or sincerity.

40
PopMatters

Port of Morrow‘s problem isn’t how it sounds, but rather what it’s saying—which, whatever it is, doesn’t have a whole lot at stake.

40
Tiny Mix Tapes

Take Heed, Everyone: Shins Have Inoffensive New Songs. Plenty Of Respectable Tedium. Overall: Fair. Mercer Oughta Revisit Resplendent Oh, Inverted World.

81
Controversial, but this is my favourite album of theirs.
87
Markedly different from their earlier work, but with still with James Mercer's excellent song writing. Standout songs for me were 'The Rifle's Spiral', 'Simple Song', 'September' and 'Pariah King' (the hidden track at the end).
Felindie
80
Fav Tracks: Simple Song, September, No Way Down
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MISC LISTS

#29/Pitchfork Readers

Track List

  1. The Rifle's Spiral 
  2. Simple Song 
  3. It's Only Life 
  4. No Way Down 
  5. September 
  6. Bait and Switch 
  7. Fall of '82 
  8. For a Fool 
  9. 40 Mark Strasse 
  10. Port of Morrow
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Added on: December 14, 2011