The Shins: Chutes too Narrow
Then: I initially discovered The Shins after seeing them headlining a show The Fiery Furnaces opened soon after this record came out. I dug Chutes too Narrow but I don't think I paid any mind to their first album, which I've completely forgotten the name to. I remember being very impressed that I could fit both albums on a single CD, though.
Now: Not bad! The album is really stripped down, acoustic guitar-based, catchy pop music, and James Mercer's singing voice doesn't fall into the insufferably cutesy trap a lot of 'indie' singers fall prey too. It has an impressive string of really good songs in a row, from the first to the eighth, and considering the album is only ten songs long, that's not bad at all. If you want some harmless, Beatle-influenced pop music, you could do a lot worse. They weren't that good live though, sadly.