Like the Shins' second LP, Rogue Wave's latest is more layered than its first, more polished and considered. But some of Shadow's spiky intensity has been subdued in the process; Rogue Wave has settled into a comfortable dream-pop sound. Track for track, Descended is gorgeous -- melodic, with an air of sun-bleached melancholy not too different from that of Vultures, but missing some of that album's desperate, snarky gloominess. Out of the Shadow was a surprisingly tart pleasure; the many joys of Descended Like Vultures, however, seem prematurely reliable.
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