At the center of every album is a musical thesis. This thesis can be the driving force behind the album, a theme that interweaves songs together, or a feeling you are left with after the very last song plays. With some albums, the thesis is easy to find. On others, it is hidden and requires you to be more than a passive listener. These reviews aren’t about rating an album. Instead, it is about uncovering a musical thesis.
The thesis behind “Heartworms” by The Shins is slightly mysterious and requires some detangling to find. It wasn’t until my third listen through the album that some themes began to emerge for me. As always, it is these themes that I attempt to tie to something much bigger.
First to emerge was “digging in.” Much of this album is about self-identification. The concept of digging in has so much to do with being firm in our beliefs, understandings, ways in which we see the world, and admitting what we don’t know. As we age, this sense of identity becomes easier to define. For a band that has been around for a while now and if you’ve spent significant time with their music, you get the sense they have arrived at a point of fully understanding who they are in the world at large and among their peers.
The idea of digging in then becomes even more reflective as the second concept, the way we look at ourselves, emerges fully formed. I don’t know if we should ever be satisfied with a life of comfort. There should always be things we should attempt to perfect about ourselves. Of course, we will never achieve all of these lofty ideas we have for ourselves, but the pursuit must mean something. It must and can bear fruit
Be good to each other,
Last month, 397 people read an article on Natetheworld.com. If you were one of them, please consider supporting this website with a monthly gift. Your support means everything and proves to the world that original content still matters.