The Shins, Port of Morrow (Columbia)

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The Independent Culture

James Mercer may use the words "sublimate" and "indigent", but don't be fooled: The Shins trade in a highbrow equivalent of landfill indie.

And the twinkly noises may be laid on thick, but this album never really flies, sounding like a cross between The Flaming Lips with their wings clipped and the radio-friendly end of Pub Rock, with just a touch of Steely Dan. It's the very definition of "not bad", but surely there's some urgent paint you need to watch drying instead?