Heartworms emanate abstractness, psychedelics and indieness in a way that makes this music featureless. The Shins wanted to sound innovative, brave, melancholic, joyous. They tried to do all at once, which eventually turned out to be pointless.
The songs are nice, engaging, but forgetful. There’s no artistry that you might experience on their previous albums. This LP seemed to me like an effect of a band searching to score a hit, sound experimental, pay homage to 80s pop and Animal Collective all at once. I don’t buy it. It’s nice, but it doesn’t offer much beside 41 minutes of pretty sounds. Not much more than that.
On the other hand, you can’t deny that The Shins are a very talented group, with great experience that they drew from. And thanks to their legacy, Heartworms provides you with few great songs like lead singles Name For You or Dead Alive with some quite entertaining additions from the rest of album like Cherry Hearts or The Fear.
However, when you take an album as a whole into consideration, it’s not as intriguing or gratifying as their previous records. Nice addition to discography, but merely a continuation, not a step forward.
Listen to: Name For You, Painting a Hole, Dead Alive