Chutes Too Narrow

The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
Critic Score
Based on 12 reviews
2003 Ratings: #33 / 241
User Score
Based on 165 ratings
2003 Ratings: #20
October 21, 2003 / Release Date
LP / Format
Sub Pop / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
Entertainment Weekly
Like conservatory dropouts raised on the Beach Boys and early English madrigals, they follow 2001’s pop-a-licious ”Oh Inverted World” with just the record you’d want: production a bit bigger (via guitar-magnifier board man Phil Ek), and songs more adventurous but no less indelible.
90
Drowned in Sound

What we have is an album of love songs for the luckless. An album for tragic romantics and car-crashed hearts; poets, cynics, drop-outs and drunks. An album of lilting, literate, buoyant and brilliant pop music with melodies so memorable they may as well be burned into your brain; that goes closer than most in understanding how even the most simplistic music can incite such a strange, devotional effect.

89
Pitchfork

Not simply an excellent album, Chutes Too Narrow is also a powerful testament to pop music's capacity for depth, beauty and expressiveness.

88
Coke Machine Glow

Judging by the quality of the So Says I b-side "Mild Child," the band has even more tricks up their sleeve than they were willing to reveal with Chutes, though this album will forever remain an important step in the development of one of indie-pop's finest talents and not just one of the best albums to be released in 2003.

80
AllMusic

Initially, Chutes Too Narrow might seem as light and fleeting as dandelion fluff or snow flurries blowing in the wind, but its direction promises even more good things from the Shins.

80
No Ripcord

But despite the weak finish, Chutes Too Narrow is still a fantastic next step for the Shins, building on the wildly successful formula of Oh, Inverted World, while still managing to push their sound in new directions. For a band that languished in obscurity for almost ten years, this is a major triumph indeed.

80
Tiny Mix Tapes
It is good as it is now: a great record to listen to, anytime.
80
Rolling Stone
Getting intimate without giving away their secrets, the Shins walk a fine line between familiarity and mystery.
80
Uncut

You don’t expect progression from such evident classicists, but there’s a new clarity, poise and refinement. If the first record was overly fond of its own reverby shimmer, Chutes… sparkles simply and truly.

60
Spin
Like fellow travelers the New Pornographers, the Shins are reverent and referential, practically documenting their source material with footnotes, while acting like they own it. You can hear them reaching for an escape from all the fronting and backbiting, desperate for a spoonful of sugar to coat the bitterest of pills.
60
The Guardian
Hailed in some quarters as the saviours of US indie rock, this New Mexico quartet play uplifting melodic pop that should find favour much further around the globe.
sinninginpink
85
The shins debut album “Chutes Too Narrow” is almost everything I could ask for from an indie pop album. it’s ten memorable and well-flowing tracks that all share sweet-sounding instrumentals, incredibly catchy choruses, passionate performances; and, lyrics which are smart, deep, and incredibly pessimistic. If you’re like me and have a thing for happy sounding albums about negative subject matter, you’ll love this album way too much as I know I did.
MacPhisto
90
Una joya del indie de los '00.
lucacdornelles
88
Very good, worth a listen.
SONGS RANKED:
10. Those to Come
9. Turn a Square
8. Saint Simon
7. Pink Bullets
6. Fighting in a Sack
5. Young Pilgrims
4. Mine's Not a High Horse
3. So Says I
2. Kissing the Lipless
1. Gone for Good
MasterCrackfox
75
Likely not my favorite Shins album, it still has a similar vibe just with a little less pomp.

Favorite track: Young Pilgrims
90
I can't think of anyone else in indie music who can write melodies that are quite as effective and infectious as James Mercer.
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#7/Pitchfork
#47/NME

Track List

  1. Kissing The Lipless
  2. Mine's Not A High Horse
  3. So Says I
  4. Young Pilgrims
  5. Saint Simon
  6. Fighting In A Sack
  7. Pink Bullets
  8. Turn A square
  9. Gone For Good
  10. Those To Come
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