January 18th, 2012 1:00am

An Ocean Warmed By The Sun

The Shins “Simple Song”

James Mercer hasn’t changed his approach to melody much over the years – he mostly focuses on long phrases that curl into very pleasing shapes – but his approach to accompaniment has become more bold and brawny recently, as if he finally realized that adding a bit of weight and punch to his rhythms would not immediately shatter the delicacy of his tunes. “Simple Song” isn’t even particularly heavy, but the added force sells the conviction of the lyrics, which reflect on life-changing epiphanies. I’m especially fond of his parting lines, which would be thoughtful in any context, but come out sounding like hard-earned wisdom in this context: “Love’s such a delicate thing that we do / we’ve nothing to prove / which I never knew.”

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