The Shins - "Half a Million" (Singles Going Steady)

by PopMatters Staff

23 August 2017

There's a certain comfort in knowing that some things will stay the same over the decades.
 

Adriane Pontecorvo: There’s a certain comfort in knowing that some things will stay the same over the decades: the sun still rises in the morning and sets in the evening, water is still wet, and the Shins still sound like they did in 2007. To the group’s credit, “Half a Million” feels a little more filled out than tracks off of Wincing the Night Away did, and that’s certainly progress, but the indie whine belongs in the past, and it would be nice to hear something a little different from a group that was one of the most promising of the early oughts. This isn’t a bad song, but it’s mid-level mainstream radio at best. [6/10]
  

Chris Ingalls: The Shins seem to be channeling the Cars with this one, bouncy keyboards propping up a solid new wave homage. The vocals also seem to have a David Byrne paranoia to them. They’re definitely looking backward for inspiration here (despite a few more modern touches), and it works pretty nicely for them. [8/10]

Mike Schiller: James Mercer still sounds like James Mercer, still straining at the high notes, still striving for the perfect indie-pop song. “Half a Million” is fine, and it has a clever video that feels like something OK Go might try, but it won’t, you know, change your life or anything. [5/10]

Steve Horowitz: Everything sounds the same after awhile. Everything sounds the same after awhile. Everything sounds the same after awhile. After awhile, everything sounds the same. So does this song. [2/10]

Chris Thiessen: The jangle pop flavor on the Shins’ “Half a Million” is infectious. However, the track is outdone by the video which features cutouts of the band pasted in hilarious situations (Drumming on cheese and crackers, playing keys on a bookcase). If not for the video, the song might fall into the hodgepodge of “mainstream alt rock”. [6/10]

SCORE: 5.40

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