Album Review: The Shins – Heartworms

Published by JB on March 12, 2017

Release date: March 10, 2017


“Somehow we cruise to the end
Change lives and everything precious
Guess we’ll just begin again”

taken from the track ‘So Now What’ by The Shins (2017)

A wonderful, glorious album with musical hooks juggling inside of beautiful melodies throughout.   A quick listen to Heartworms tracks like ‘Fantasy Island’ or ‘So Now What’ and we remember quickly that the 46 year-old James Mercer is the one sure-thing we have in indie pop.   Whether he’s tag-teaming with Danger Mouse on Broken Bells or pouring out picture-perfect pop songs with the Shins, Mercer is an unstoppable freight train of melodies.   The new Shins album, their fifth full length overall, and their first since Port of Morrow in 2012, is still a James Mercer CD being wrapped up as a faux band effort.   The Shins are a band only in our minds, and on tour.   Not in the creative studio.   It’s there where Mercer creates his magic.   Heartworms is dripping with colorful jangly tunes from the opening sing-a-long of ‘Name For You’ until the finale, ‘The Fear’ tails away 41 minutes later.  It won’t win any album of the year awards because great artists are simply expected to always deliver great things, but it should be a conversation topic when discussing the best of James Mercer.


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