The sacking of two long-standing members and chief Shin James Mercer's 2010 collaboration with producer Danger Mouse may have sounded alarm bells among devotees. But it's largely business as usual here; bar the woozy soul of the title track, this is bookish, invitingly melodic college rock, delving liberally into the jangly navel-gazing of 80s British indie. Smart and anthemic, "40 Mark Strasse" and the Waterboys-channelling "Simple Song" provide ample evidence of why Mercer's songs are so widely cherished. But there remains something a little clinical about the efficiency with which he dispatches these studies in perky wistfulness.
The Shins: Port of Morrow – review
Ally Carnwath writes on Africa and music for the Guardian and Observer