It was only a matter of time before Danger Mouse
next target for collaborative genius. Lucky for James Mercer (the man
the Shins), this relationship looks like a lasting one. The new super
Broken Bells and its self-titled debut dropped March 9 on Colombia –
is if you hadn’t already been jamming to it for months thanks to an
on the interwebs and some intriguing emails encrypted with the binary
“The high road is hard to find.” Hmmm.
Broken Bells is a
departure for both artists. Mercer’s signature voice is stretched to the
with high falsetto and some warbly FX that differ heavily from past
albums. Danger Mouse a.k.a. Brian Burton drops his mad sampling skills
of handling his instruments live in the studio. And it totally works.
The album leads with its first single, “The High
Tripping out with jazzy space sounds, the track swoons into a mellow jam
Mercer’s voice smoothing things over. “Vaporize” is a lost Shins track topped with
some heavy organ chords to spice things up, while “Citizen” reps
affinity for electro-grit.
“The Mall and the Misery” ties the album together,
twanging guitar and a full string orchestra, before busting out a blend
Burton’s boxed beats, woozy synths and Mercer’s tastefully layered
Collaborate away, gentlemen. Overall, digging