Broken Bells
Meyrin Fields


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andru Okenuf USER (32 Reviews)
March 28th, 2011 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Any fan of indie or electropop should definitely give this a quick spin.

Broken Bells is the brainchild of The Shins’s vocalist/guitarist James Mercer, and the multi-talented superproducer Brian Burton (better known as DJ Danger Mouse).

The first album and only release was just about what one might expect from these two extremely talented musicians. Though the sound did not drift too far from Wincing the Night Away, it was nonetheless a very balanced album with a few great songs and not a bad track. Yet Broken Bells gave us no reason to listen to them rather than The Shins.

Unlike the debut, Meyrin Fields EP is a Broken Bells production. By which I mean this isn’t just a collaboration of two incredibly talented musicians, it marks the formation of a new band with a collectivist approach and a desire to create new and innovative music. Lead single and album focus, ‘Meyrin Fields,’ is the most dynamic track Broken Bells has released thus far. Mercer uses his incredible range to attack in bursts, jumping out at you when the beat requires. He's not commandeering the sound but instead interacting with this violent and strange electro world. Defiantly he proclaims we must “Rise up and sound this state / that everything else in this world can be broken,” taking a more active stand than we’ve ever heard out of him.

The entire EP runs under 11:30, so it may be premature to say Broken Bells have turned a corner. Though there is variation, notably in the mellow and smooth ‘An Easy Life,’ it lacks a certain flow, seeming more like a showcase than a thought out progression. But once ‘Heartless Empire’ finishes breathing its heavy sigh (“The whole idea seems unfit to run / but it’s always that way”), the overwhelming desire is for more music.



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user ratings (44)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
aok
March 28th 2011


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So there isn't too much to say and hopefully someone will write a full length review for this, but I just wanted to give this some notoriety and say my peace. Constructive criticism appreciated as always.

shakethatbearfight
March 28th 2011


31 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good EP. It's nothing to crap the pants over, but it still shows Broken Bells wasn't a one album floozy. I'm excited for all their future work.

aok
March 28th 2011


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea -- i think it's just a bit better than the LP cause I started to realize the best songs on broken bells were worse than some middling chutes too narrow tracks. i bumped this a half point cause of the uniqueness of the title track. hard to rate an ep against lps though

ButcheredChildren
March 28th 2011


5590 Comments


is this like Miami Horror?

aok
March 28th 2011


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

From what little I've heard of Miami Horror, I'd say this is less dancy and more soulful. James Mercer is still pretty much the definition of Indie, so it does strive for a more unique sound.

ButcheredChildren
March 28th 2011


5590 Comments


Maybe I'll give it a try, although I love the pep/happy energy of Miami Horror.

aok
March 28th 2011


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

grooveshark the album i'd say. might not be your thing but it'll only take 10 minutes to find out

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 28th 2011


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this is a really good review. sorry I took my time with it Andy, I literally just finished reading the email you sent me. it doesn't matter though because this is a great review, good job.

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2011


31628 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I don't know how anyone would think of Miami Horror while reading this

Nice work man

Digging: Theo Parrish - American Intelligence

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 28th 2011


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"recommended by reviewer
Radiohead The King of Limbs
Pink Floyd Meddle
The Mars Volta De-Loused in the Comatorium"

high-praise for a Broken Bells EP haha


aok
March 28th 2011


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks guys. don't sweat it adrian - i wouldn't have expected you to turn it over in under 24 hours but i realized i wanted to go live with this sooner than later, it being a new release and all.

generally i recommend albums i like better than what I'm reviewing. All 4 of those albums are better than this little EP, but I mean, I'd think if you like this, then those are 4 albums to go to for sure.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 28th 2011


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

right on

I love all the albums I quoted by the way. the EP is really good too, I just wish there was more music. their LP was my summer jam last year.

aok
March 28th 2011


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I saw them live a few months ago (before this ep was released) and was super impressed when they played meyrin fields. I had just seen Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and was not expecting anywhere near that kind of energy from these two super laid back dudes. But, they really do work it out.

xfearbefore
March 29th 2011


1248 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great succinct little review. This is excellent, even better than their debut album.

Digging: The Smoking Popes - Get Fired

aok
April 2nd 2011


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Only 11 votes on this ep so far? would've expected more love from a new broken bells release

xfearbefore
April 14th 2011


1248 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The title track is so insanely good. Top candidate for best song of 2011 so far for me.

gaslightanthem
April 14th 2011


5209 Comments


didnt really like the self titled so

aok
April 21st 2011


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

(1 week late) hit up the title track meyrin fields. it's really nothing like the debut lp

mmfarva
April 21st 2011


1352 Comments


I quite enjoy this, though it was expected.

DarthBlubber
April 23rd 2011


218 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really enjoyed this little EP!
An Easy Life is possibly the best song I heard all year.



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