Broken Bells
Broken Bells


4.5
superb

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
March 14th, 2010 | 144 replies | 27,928 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Buy this. Buy the vinyl. Buy ten.

Danger Mouse, indie-come-hip-hop producer extraordinaire, teams up with The Shins' vocalist/ guitarist James Mercer on their triumphant debut as Broken Bells. Expanding upon and perfecting the sound sought after for years by groups like Zero 7, the duo draws little from their prior discographies. In fact, Danger Mouse uses this opportunity to delve into more atmospheric and electronic-influenced pop production, while Mercer does less crooning instead favoring his own tasteful impression of rocking out. Multi-part harmony choruses, ad-libbing that makes sense, and even some trademark rhythmic folk-strumming -- these decidedly Mercer-esque qualities combine with the Mouse's 22nd century synths and penchant for the symphonic to favorable results (to say the very least). Each layer of sound, each vocal effect (be it a flanger or phaser), and each reverb laden instrumental sound emphasizes a mellow atmosphere. Although, some may be proponents of the criticism that Broken Bells is far too "chilled out" to bring any progressive qualities to the table, this assertion couldn't be more wrong. One needs only listen to the "Sailing to Nowhere" to be convinced; each artist feeds off the other to achieve a real sense of urgency in the dreamy sonic background. Most of my regular readers may know this already -- my obsession with spaghetti-western compositions knows no bounds, and the "coda" section of this track was pure heroin for my addiction. Closer "The Mall & Misery" sums up everything quite nicely with a symphonic, finger-plucked intro, indie-pop saturated verses, and another beautiful chorus. It ends the way it started, fading this successful debut into nothing and demanding replay.

Broken Bells is the crown jewel of each musician's discography and is a necessity for fans of either one... yes, it trumps The Mouse & The Mask, St. Elsewhere, and Oh, Inverted World collectively. Color this reviewer surprised, as I expected this to be completely terrible being a fan of neither beforehand. Buy this. Buy the vinyl. Buy ten.



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user ratings (457)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
thepaintedalice (4.5)
Beautiful, invigorating, addictive. A must have....

Violinist (3.5)
Mercer finds someone new to play with, and the result is well worth your time......

clavichordwolf (2.5)
Superficial art pop that fails to leave anything in the way of an impact, "Broken Bells" is forty mi...

ShadowAmI (3.5)
Broken Bells release an extremely solid first effort....


Comments:Add a Comment 
AtavanHalen
March 14th 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Make your next review a haiku. I fucking dare you.

Bulldog
March 14th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

AH-HA. I knew this was a Soby review when I saw it.

I tried getting into this, and I wasn't so keen on the first two tracks. I'll re-listen to it just to make sure. But it doesn't seem like my kind of thing. Needless to say, great review.

Enotron
March 14th 2010



7695 Comments


Make your next review a haiku. I fucking dare you.


Wow. Perhaps I'll do this on an alt account. Doubt it would get excepted, but it's worth it.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2010



14982 Comments


neg'd

Bulldog
March 14th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Make your next review a haiku. I fucking dare you


I know this was directed at kingsoby, but...

I'LL DO IT!

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2010



14982 Comments


"indie-come-hip-hop"


cum*?

"In fact, Danger Mouse uses this opportunity to delve into more atmospheric and electronic-influenced pop production, while Mercer does less crooning instead favoring his own tasteful impression of rocking out."

also imo there should be a comma after 'crooning'

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 14th 2010



4938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I could write maybe 10 or 20 haikus

This record is awesome btw. I don't care if Starbucks is pimping it out.

Bulldog
March 14th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I might write a haiku for Fallen House Sunken City.

AtavanHalen
March 14th 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for that, Sobhi.
I'll have to go get this now.
I really love The Shins.

Bulldog
March 14th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Dangermouse's collaboration with DOOM was good, but wasn't too good. That's basically all I know about either of them.

AtavanHalen
March 14th 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Danger Mouse? Check out St. Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley, The Grey Album and Demon Days by Gorillaz.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2010



30859 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hmmm don't know about this trumping The Mouse & The Mask but from what i've heard it's pretty good

Digging: Calyx and Teebee - FabricLive.76

AggravatedYeti
March 14th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

album is great.

Bulldog
March 14th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Danger Mouse? Check out St. Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley, The Grey Album and Demon Days by Gorillaz.


Totally forgot he did Demon Days. I love that album.

joshuatree
Emeritus
March 14th 2010



3743 Comments


this is good like 3 good not even close to 4.5 for me

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 14th 2010



4938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

sry to hear that.

joshuatree
Emeritus
March 14th 2010



3743 Comments


just lettin niggas kno

Bulldog
March 14th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I'll check this out after Flobots.

NortherlyNanook
March 14th 2010



1285 Comments


i wish i could like this as much as you, but it's not bad, but i only listened to it some time ago

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2010



14982 Comments


this is good like 3 good not even close to 4.5 for me



haha sick



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