chutes too narrow is considered their best lp, by a lot. but what makes it so much better than wincing the night away, which is way more engaging, melodic and adventurous. nothing on chutes comes close to the joy of songs like austrailia or phantom limb. and don't forget about turn on me, or spilt needles, which are excellent. the only good song on chutes is gone for good. or is wincing automatically dismissed by fans and critics because it charted high right off the bat. if so it's a shame. it should be evaluated on its own merits.
Chutes Too Narrow game out around the same time as Garden State, which had "New Slang" which really blew The Shins up around that time. So CTN had a ton of goodwill coming out with it. By 07, Garden State (and by associations, The Shins) was going through a huge backlash that still leaves a bad taste in some people's mouths.