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The Shins — No Way Down
Album: Port Of Morrow
Avg rating:
6.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1086









Released: 2012
Length: 3:11
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Meet the son of a government man
And a pillar of salt
I was born with blood on my hands
And have all the signs of a bleeding heart

Living high on a giant hog
On a mountain so steep
Keep your head in a hollow log
As the ruling fog are about to creep

What have we done?
How'd we get so far from the sun?
Lost, lost in an oscillating phase
Where a tiny few catch all of the rays

Out beyond the western squalls
In an alien land
They work for nothing at all
They don't know the mall or the layaway plan

Dig yourself a beautiful grave
Everything you could want
Maybe those invisible slaves
Are too far away for a ghost to haunt

What will we charge?
Letting go of a claim so large
Oh, all of our working days are done
But a tiny few are having all of the fun

Get used to their dust in your lungs

Is there no way down
From this peak to solid ground
Without having our gold teeth
Pulled from our mouths?

Make me a drink strong enough
To wash away this dish water world they said was lemonade
Walk with me after the show
Maybe we can find a way through the minefield in the snow

What will they charge?
Letting go of a claim so large
Oh, all of our working days are done
But a tiny few are having all of the fun

Apologies to the sick and the young
Get used to their dust in your lungs.
Comments (70)add comment
 peterhgrimm wrote:
Great, upbeat song tempo, but man the lyrics are a bummer. Kind of a weird pairing, musically. That's my one pet peeve with the Shins, the lyrics are often at odds with the melody (or totally incoherent)...   Still, great music from this band!
 
Methinks you are missing the greatness of the juxtaposition.
 kingart wrote:
I fail to see what is inane or inadequate about these lyrics.  Inane, perhaps, to those who have not been exploited, disappointed, frustrated, underpaid or overworked, or for whom, say, U2 is the pinnacle of rock social commentary. That's your subjective bias.  As for me, I've heard better, or more pointed or felicitous lyrics, but I can also think of more vaunted songs with lesser literacy. 

Dig yourself a beautiful grave
Everything you could want
Maybe those invisible slaves
Are too far away for a ghost to haunt
 
I was going to upvote but the cheap, and completely unnecessary, shot at U2 ruins an otherwise excellent point here.

That said, the song is great.  The lyrics are absolutely not inane or inadequate.  Poignant would be a better description.
Another of the groups that I'm so very thankful to RP for turning me on to them.

Such a great voice.  Every time I hear a Shins song I marvel at the tone: warm, honest and anguished.
Shin perfection.
Sure can hear the Smiths' influence in this one. And I think it's great. I have zero problem with the lyrics. Such a catchy groovy tune.
I have recently become a BIG fan of The Shins. This song is a bit too "poppy" for me, but solid nonetheless. A 5 or 6 from me.
I would fault the lyrics for excessive use of cliché......

Otherwise, this is a terrific pop song.
 peterhgrimm wrote:
Great, upbeat song tempo, but man the lyrics are a bummer. Kind of a weird pairing, musically. That's my one pet peeve with the Shins, the lyrics are often at odds with the melody (or totally incoherent)...   Still, great music from this band!

 
Often?

I thought that was half the schtick. 
 Wizzo_oz wrote:
 h8rhater wrote:

Bravo!!

right on. Visceral listeners unite! I barely hear lyrics. Would never look them up. Some of my favorite lyrics are basically meaningless, but just make interesting phonetic contributions. (e.g. TH "Born Under Punches")

 
Agreed!  For me, a song can be great with ho hum or even crappy lyrics while even the most sublime poetry can't overcome a bad tune.

I make an exception for Steve Miller though - his lyrics are so laughably sophomoric that I can't ignore them :)
 
Bad pop. Completely PSD worthy ...
This is way below The Shins. Solid 4ish maybe 3. It s got problems. 
Bobbity um bobbity O.
Great, upbeat song tempo, but man the lyrics are a bummer. Kind of a weird pairing, musically. That's my one pet peeve with the Shins, the lyrics are often at odds with the melody (or totally incoherent)...   Still, great music from this band!
 subdude wrote:
would it be possible to stop the inane lyrics and maybe play some music that stands on its own without vocal messages, at least every now and again. sure would be nice, especially for those of us who like music and not vocal content. I would seem most, not all, contemporary vocalists whine a lot. 

 
You may want to find an instrumental station (a few on SOMA-FM), though Bill plays a good amount of instrumental tracks.  Of course, their playing instrumental tracks brings out plenty of other folks who bemoan the absence of singing in those songs.  This station doesn't just play "contemporary" artists you know - very far from it as clearly evidenced by the list of highest-rated songs.
 subdude wrote:
would it be possible to stop the inane lyrics and maybe play some music that stands on its own without vocal messages, at least every now and again. sure would be nice, especially for those of us who like music and not vocal content. I would seem most, not all, contemporary vocalists whine a lot. 

 
You may want to find an instrumental station (a few on SOMA-FM), though Bill plays a good amount of instrumental tracks.  Of course, their playing instrumental tracks brings out plenty of other folks who bemoan the absence of singing in those songs.  This station doesn't just play "contemporary" artists you know - far from it.
this is beautiful...... I LOVE IT {#Laughing}
indifferenτ
"Get used to their dust in your lungs" I have asthma and, this line! Protest baby!
 vandal wrote:


{#Roflol}  good one.
 


I think the lyrics to Shins songs are great, the imagery of 'keep your head in a hollow log' makes me smile every time I hear it.
 Wizzo_oz wrote:
 h8rhater wrote:

Bravo!!

right on. 

Visceral listeners unite! I barely hear lyrics. Would never look them up. Some of my favorite lyrics are basically meaningless, but just make interesting phonetic contributions. (e.g. TH "Born Under Punches")

 
whoosh...
I fail to see what is inane or inadequate about these lyrics.  Inane, perhaps, to those who have not been exploited, disappointed, frustrated, underpaid or overworked, or for whom, say, U2 is the pinnacle of rock social commentary. That's your subjective bias.  As for me, I've heard better, or more pointed or felicitous lyrics, but I can also think of more vaunted songs with lesser literacy. 

Dig yourself a beautiful grave
Everything you could want
Maybe those invisible slaves
Are too far away for a ghost to haunt
I like the lyrics. Seems they are talking about how we should get used to working for the privileged few (and having dust in our lungs) who are the only ones having fun. Having to retire from building homes, which I loved, because of bronchial issues, I can relate. Today I am estimating a 14000 SF 2nd home for one of the tiny few who catch all the rays.It's kinda depressing in a lighthearted way.
That's what I get out of this song.

With their best songs they are just perfect!

With the rest - like here - they are just boring!


 h8rhater wrote:

Bravo!!

right on. 

Visceral listeners unite! I barely hear lyrics. Would never look them up. Some of my favorite lyrics are basically meaningless, but just make interesting phonetic contributions. (e.g. TH "Born Under Punches")
5 <  7 on account of stupid lyrics.
 vandal wrote:


would it be possible to stop the inane lyrics and maybe play some music that stands on its own without vocal messages, at least every now and again. sure would be nice, especially for those of us who like music and not vocal content. I would seem most, not all, contemporary vocalists whine a lot.
 

Bravo!!  We need less feeling in our music.  Maybe we can just remove the lyrics all together.
 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

The Best Albums in the World never give up their secrets in the first few listens. If you loved this the first time you heard it, you'd hate it 6 months later.
 
At least that's how it goes in my world. 

 

Great comment and very well put.  It took me two years to fully appreciate the perfection of OK Computer, but I was e-mailing everyone I knew after my first listen to Coldplay's X&Y telling them it was an all-time classic (in hindsight - not so much)
 arserocket wrote:

with you there buddy - I'm in my trailer right now with this cranked up!
 

I hear you...  we have the volume cranked up high in my church right now...  love this song...


hope you are having a grand day...
 
 subdude wrote:
would it be possible to stop the inane lyrics and maybe play some music that stands on its own without vocal messages, at least every now and again. sure would be nice, especially for those of us who like music and not vocal content. I would seem most, not all, contemporary vocalists whine a lot. 
 


marvelous...  love it...
 

Everybody in my church be dancing...  love this song...

 subdude wrote:
would it be possible to stop the inane lyrics and maybe play some music that stands on its own without vocal messages, at least every now and again. sure would be nice, especially for those of us who like music and not vocal content. I would seem most, not all, contemporary vocalists whine a lot. 
 
The answer is: no.
 justin4kick wrote:
Their first 3 CD´s contained absolutely brilliant music. With Oh, Inverted World the Shins introduced me to indie music and ever since that time I have a renewed interest in music. Yes, the Shins did indeed change my life (a bit). So my expectations for Port of Morrow were high. Too high, cause after listening to it for 4 times now I haven´t found any of the gems that were on the previous 3. In fact this CD turns out to be rather dissappointing.   
 
Opposite experience for me.  The first Shins albums I heard here never made much of an impression...but I'm finding this one spectacularly good.  
So far haven't come across a Shins track I didn't like!

Everybody in my church loves this song...
 
{#Bananasplit} LOVE the Shins!
..only had limited exposure to the Shins prior to RP..gotta say they craft catchy, enjoyable tunes (to my ears)..

..thx for the depth of individual artist tracks (along with the incredibly diverse selection), RP-!..
 subdude wrote:
would it be possible to stop the inane lyrics and maybe play some music that stands on its own without vocal messages, at least every now and again. sure would be nice, especially for those of us who like music and not vocal content. I would seem most, not all, contemporary vocalists whine a lot. 
 
Please do YOUR whining in smaller fonts dude! 

Oh and, btw, songs without words are called instrumentals.  I'm sure you can find some elsewhere.

 handyrae wrote:

All the talk below about the lyrics prompted me to find and read them. I have to say they are a bit ridiculous. Sort of like poetry where the poet has some deep meaning, but is unable to convey it, or a poet who is just throwing words together because he thinks they sound good. Either way they failed to move me. That being said, I do enjoy the song.

 
I wonder if you just lack the tools necessary to unpack the poem's (or the lyrics') meaning?  Prosody's hard. Exegesis requires work. Simply becasue you can't parse  a poem doesn't mean the meaning isn't there.
 handyrae wrote:

All the talk below about the lyrics prompted me to find and read them. I have to say they are a bit ridiculous. Sort of like poetry where the poet has some deep meaning, but is unable to convey it, or a poet who is just throwing words together because he thinks they sound good. Either way they failed to move me. That being said, I do enjoy the song.

 
Or perhaps you are the one at fault and simply failed to understand.

All the talk below about the lyrics prompted me to find and read them. I have to say they are a bit ridiculous. Sort of like poetry where the poet has some deep meaning, but is unable to convey it, or a poet who is just throwing words together because he thinks they sound good. Either way they failed to move me. That being said, I do enjoy the song.


The Amazing Spider-Man FTW.
 subdude wrote:
would it be possible to stop the inane lyrics and maybe play some music that stands on its own without vocal messages, at least every now and again. sure would be nice, especially for those of us who like music and not vocal content. I would seem most, not all, contemporary vocalists whine a lot. 
 

You need to get a dictionary because you obviously have no idea what the word "inane" means.  You might want to try hanging out in elevators, you would probably like that music.
 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

The Best Albums in the World never give up their secrets in the first few listens. If you loved this the first time you heard it, you'd hate it 6 months later.
 
At least that's how it goes in my world. 
 
Absolutely. When I first discovered RP years ago, I heard many songs that I'd missed in my "musically uninformed years" (~1975-2005) and fell in love with some of them. They soon became the beginning of my Radio Paradise Favorites playlist that now numbers 666 songs. (Gulp!) Anyway, most of the ones I originally glommed on to early soon grew stale while others I've grown to enjoy more and more. I've also grown to appreciate The Beatles work a lot more. This music discovery tour—guided by BillG—has been great fun for me lately!

Edit: The Shins and Porcupine Tree are two groups that stand out as major RP discoveries for me.
Unparalleled accomplished hook-driven pop; gorgeous, brilliantly sculpted songs. Poetic songcraft.
"Apologies to the sick and young..."
Judging by the comments below, I seem to be in a minority when I say that I think this is a rather good album.  Much more developed, much less childlike than earlier records.
 romeotuma wrote:


Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...

 
 
with you there buddy - I'm in my trailer right now with this cranked up!
 subdude wrote:
would it.... 
 
Nevermind... no time for the unwashed.




Yep I like it.
Never been a Shins fan, but this one has me thinking otherwise.

Re post below:

1)  Normal size font works fine.  Please learn how to use it.

2)  Slamming all vocalists?  Really, this is hardly the place.  BillG plays a good dollop of instrumental tunes.  If that's not enough, I'm sure there are plenty of other instrumental internet channels to keep you happy.  I'll keep my whiny vocalists here.
would it be possible to stop the inane lyrics and maybe play some music that stands on its own without vocal messages, at least every now and again. sure would be nice, especially for those of us who like music and not vocal content. I would seem most, not all, contemporary vocalists whine a lot. 
 jonahboo wrote:
Saw them last night!!! @ Terminal 5 sold out
very good show indeed - my 9yo son and I got backstage and met the band - very cool!!!!  
 
{#High-five} Way to go.


Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...

 
I don't know if there's a "great" song on this album but man, there sure are a lot of very good ones.
Playing a machine that claps for your song? *cringe*
Saw them last night!!! @ Terminal 5 sold out
very good show indeed - my 9yo son and I got backstage and met the band - very cool!!!!  
 Easyrider wrote:
New,vibrant and refreshing!

 
Indeed. I love it when artists stretch their vision.
 noladq wrote:
I've really been enjoying this album, and this is the perfect summer song for me.  Can't wait to see them at Red Rocks!
 
me too! gonna be an awesome show, i'm excited!
I've really been enjoying this album, and this is the perfect summer song for me.  Can't wait to see them at Red Rocks!
I like the sound, but those lyrics are just — I dunno, just not doing it for me.
 justin4kick wrote:
Their first 3 CD´s contained absolutely brilliant music. With Oh, Inverted World the Shins introduced me to indie music and ever since that time I have a renewed interest in music. Yes, the Shins did indeed change my life (a bit). So my expectations for Port of Morrow were high. Too high, cause after listening to it for 4 times now I haven´t found any of the gems that were on the previous 3. In fact this CD turns out to be rather dissappointing.   
 
The Best Albums in the World never give up their secrets in the first few listens. If you loved this the first time you heard it, you'd hate it 6 months later.
 
At least that's how it goes in my world. 


This song is good for the ears...

 
Their first 3 CD´s contained absolutely brilliant music. With Oh, Inverted World the Shins introduced me to indie music and ever since that time I have a renewed interest in music. Yes, the Shins did indeed change my life (a bit). So my expectations for Port of Morrow were high. Too high, cause after listening to it for 4 times now I haven´t found any of the gems that were on the previous 3. In fact this CD turns out to be rather dissappointing.   
This CD will be waiting on my doorstep when I get home from work, can't wait to hear the whole thing!
Sounds really good!

8
New,vibrant and refreshing!

Yay! New Shins.  I like
Different for the Shins!