I think I understand the appeal of The Shins to college kids: Intellectual-sounding, confusing lyrics about... confusion, and unexplained stories of love and lesbian experimentation (in the case of "Phantom Limb"). Somehow they also have a kiddie sound too - to me at least. I think this is proven by their appearance on Yo Gabba Gabba where they sing a song dedicated to youngsters but manage to make it sound like a regular Shins song.
I'm seeing them live for the first time on May 17th so my excitement and interest in them is mounting as the days go by although my eternal love for frontman James Mercer started years ago. I don't even think I should get into how exquisitely beautiful this man is or the mystery of how he can grow a perfect beard and still have those crazy, big brown eyes stand out like twinkling stars of perfection. See... I shouldn't go further.
The kitchy, quirky fun of this band always gets me as well. From their band name hailing from The Music Man to their strange relationship with Zach Braff, everything about them is undeniably unique. And honestly, in a really strange move, I actually love every one of their albums, especially the latest, Wincing the Night Away.
How often can you say a band just keeps getting better? They remain relevant and consistently impressive.
A top five list of my favorite Shins songs would go something like this:
1. Gone For Good
2. Sea Legs
3. Turn on Me
4. Split Needles
5. Baby Boomerang (cover)
... I think. It's difficult - I kind of love them all even though I wouldn't automatically characterize The Shins as one of my favorite bands. That might change after May 17th though.