The lone album Flake Music released before transforming into the Shins, When You Land Here, It's Time to Return is the ultimate definition of pop. Following in the dual footsteps of jangling indie pop and '60s-inspired Elephant 6 rock (Apples in Stereo, Beulah), the band churns out incredibly sunny, peaceful, and generally fun guitar pop that's pretty difficult not to like. The album's only flaw is its tendency to slip into almost emo-ish constructions (standard Braid and Boys Life moves) -- thankfully, though, this leaning is rare in comparison to the charming pop that makes When You Land Here so lovable. Though Flake Music needed a bit more focus and invention, their work here holds the potential that James Mercer and company more than delivered on just a few years later with the classic Oh, Inverted World.
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AllMusic Review by Nitsuh Abebe