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Review: Broken Bells by jason
March 16, 2010, 6:57 pm
Filed under: New Releases, Review | Tags: , , ,

Danger Mouse is a busy man. He’s 1/2 of Gnarls Barkley. Danger Doom, and Joker’s Daughter, he produces albums by The Black Keys and Beck, and he recently collaborated with David Lynch and the late Mark Linkous for his project The Dark Night of the Soul. And now, he and James Mercer of the Shins have come together for Broken Bells.

Danger Mouse’s hand is heavy here. The album often feel much more of a Danger Mouse feat. James Mercer album than an actual collaboration, but this isn’t a bad thing. DM knows how to use sound to evoke a mood, and while Mercer sounds great, the focus here is on the music itself.

By now, everyone’s probably heard the opening track, “The High Road,” which is great. The second song, “Vaporize,” is probably the one track on the album that sounds the most like the Shins, and even then, it sounds like The Shins filtered through Danger Mouse’s production.

Track 4, “The Ghost Inside,” sounds more like Gorillaz than anything else, with Mercer’s vocals going high into a Damon Albarn-like falsetto.

Overall, the album has a very dark, ominous sound, as if Danger Mouse hadn’t worked that out of his system with Dark Night of the Soul. It’s a great album; I love it, but if you’re coming to it looking for the Shins, walk away. This is pure Danger Mouse Territory.

Here’s a clip of them on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon performing “The Ghost Inside.”



1 Comment so far
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I agree with you about Vaporize sounding the most like Ths Shins. My favorite song other than The High Road (which I can’t get enough of) is October. The whole CD is very haunting. I listened to it 3 times straight through yesterday. Love it.

Comment by Beth

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