Stereogum x Amazon MP3 Friendly Deals #3: The Shins’ Oh, Inverted World

Today we present the next installment in a series that brings you classic indie rock albums at hugely discounted prices. Every week, Amazon.com is letting us select one album from its MP3 store to go on super sale (up to 75% off normal prices). Hopefully you’ll be able to add these must-own LPs to your library without breaking your budget. Today’s deal: The Shins’ Oh, Inverted World.

When the Shins debuted with Oh, Inverted World in 2001, the first thing that seemed to draw a number of folks to the Albuquerque-born band was the clever Lance Bangs-directed video for “New Slang,” which payed homage to the Replacements, Squirrel Bait, Slint, Hüsker Dü, the MInutemen, and others, in a way that you likely got on first glance with a smile. If you dug deeper than that track, the 11 songs on the 33-minute collection added up to a shimmering, somehow sad or dusky pop whole. This was before Garden State, though when Natalie Portman told Zach Braff, “You gotta hear this one song — it’ll change your life,” she should have mentioned there were about 10 others.

From “Caring Is Creepy” to “The Past And Pending””s “lose yourself in lines dissecting love,” the powder blue of the album art nails the mood just right, James Mercer’s sweet falsetto turning from sunshine to melancholy. Tracks like “Know Your Onion!” go for the pop jugular, “One By One All Day” flash psychedelic glints and swelling cicada song-like studio touches, and throughout the band stirs in twinkly keyboards and improbable, effortless melodies. It’s still fun catching all the references to other albums we could easily recommend:

For the next week, you can pick it up at Amazon MP3 for $3.99, down from the regular price of $9.99.

Help us make great albums available at low prices by suggesting future Friendly Deal selections in the comments.

Tags: The Shins