The Worm's Heart

The Shins - The Worm's Heart
Critic Score
Based on 7 reviews
2018 Ratings: #712 / 737
User Score
Based on 15 ratings
January 19, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Aural Apothecary, Columbia / Label
Synthpop, Indie Rock / Genres
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Loud and Quiet

Not all experiments fulfil their aims, of course, and this is no exception. But at least it tries. In doing so, it’s made some breakthroughs, while its failures are at least interesting ones.


In the end, The Worm’s Heart proves the fairly obvious point that both song and surroundings are important, and reminds us that Mercer is an occasional master of both.

The Guardian

It’s neither better nor worse than Heartworms – which itself was very much a mixed bag – but the pleasures come in different places.


Die-hard fans may appreciate the musical switcheroos on The Worm's Heart, but others may not understand the need for them.

Drowned in Sound

It undermines the intent of the original songs by offering little more than an alternative to listen to just for the sake of it.

Under The Radar

The Worm's Heart is a curiously pointless release and coming so soon after the first version does it no favors at all. Just because, as the writer/creator of these pieces, Mercer has the right to go back and reassemble these songs into myriad weird and not-so-wonderful shapes, doesn't necessarily mean that he should.

Whether this is all some kind of weird commentary on music or just a reasonably good idea executed poorly is hard to tell. What is certain is that Mercer should probably not have bothered, or maybe tried it out on an EP (or perhaps a one-sided 7”).
If you thought last year’s “Heartworms” was disappointing, let me tell you, this is even more disappointing. James Mercer had this concept of sending an album he already recorded and “flipping” it, reversing the track list, making fast songs slow and vice versa. The only issue with that is, James only really keeps up with that concept for a select few tunes here. His re-imaginings of tracks like “Mildenhall” and “Half a Million” show that ... read more
The version of Dead Alive on this is a lot better than the original. However, the rest of the album seemed a bit pointless.
I consider Heartworms one of the most slept on/underlooked releases of 2017, i loved it from first listen and even have a copy of it on CD.

This instead is an unnecessary remake which does not add anything new to the songs than "wow we can change tempo". They end up somehow making every track worse which is a shame. I wanted to like this.
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Track List

  1. The Fear
  2. So Now What
  3. Heartworms
  4. Dead Alive
  5. Half a Million
  6. Rubber Ballz
  7. Mildenhall
  8. Fantasy Island
  9. Cherry Hearts
  10. Painting a Hole
  11. Name For You
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Added on: January 5, 2018