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NTW - the shins, point of morrow
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The Shins feel more like a studio project than ever on their fourth album. You might even catch a glimmer of Steely Dan in "Fall of '82." In itself that meticulousness is not a bad thing. Like bandleader James Mercer, producer Greg Kurstin has shown a consistent appreciation for refined songcraft and inventive arrangements, and the pair furnish these 10 originals with baroque touches: brass, organ, bells. Perhaps too many. For every standout like the joyous "Simple Song," there's another undercut by bells and whistles: "No Way Down" sounds like it was recorded in an aviary during mating season. - K.B.R.

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