Broken Bells - Broken Bells - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Broken Bells - Broken Bells

by Ol Haill Rating:8 Release Date:2010-03-08

A melodic melding of the minds of über-producer Danger Mouse and James Mercer of The Shins in their new super duo guise as Broken Bells - following in the fresh collaborative footsteps of Jack White's Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, Them Crooked Vultures , Velvet Revolver, Monsters of Folk and The Last Shadow Puppets, to name a few - has delivered an darkly exquisite debut album, eponymously titled.

Having ditching his former dependents to hook up with the very talented Mr Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse, half of Gnarls Barkley and producer of a number of well-regarded albums of the last few years including the brilliantly and revolutionary Beatles-beats-Jay-Z Grey Album) Mercer has made a slight departure from his previous territory but his voice and lyrics suit the new style well.

The album has a haunted, downbeat atmosphere, laced with drama and the intricately clever beats that Danger Mouse's fans love him for, woven through presumably Mercer's thoughtful lyrics and laidback mumble. But the new couple are enthusiastic experimenters and lace their first issue with plenty of eclectic eccentricity - from the cheery hauntings of a Hammond warble on 'Vaporize', through the hand-clappity-clap echoes of Danger Mouse's production of the previous Gorillaz album on 'The Ghost Inside', and the theatrical breakdown in 'Mongrel Heart', which could very well provide the backing for the dénouement of a Latino gangster flick.

I liked it hugely the first few listens but now, although it retains the rhythms to keep me listening, I have got a bit bored. However, any album where the word coruscate is used has to be lauded. Well done lads.

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