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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Broken Bells

Album Review written by Imran Mirza

Brian Burton – a.k.a Danger Mouse has long had the Midas touch when it comes to forging unlikely collaborations. This one off pairs the musician/producer with Shin’s James Mercer, fusing the master of melody with the king of beat/synth science. The result is a dreamy set of tracks, featuring sprawling choruses and melodic saccharin - sublimely countered by bitter melancholy and intelligent song writing.

Many of Burton’s trade-marks litter this album; catchy (and often weird) electronic hooks and synths pour straight from the Gnarl’s Barkley coffee pot. But nothing is overcooked and you don’t feel that the neon pop formula and cross-over aesthetics are pushed too far. In fact the tracks here are beautifully crafted and Mercer’s vocals feel like they are at their most accomplished throughout. Tracks like ‘Citizen’ will melt your heart ‘The Ghost Inside’ will set your foot tapping and the acoustically fronted ‘Vaporize’ will make you nod and hum along in time to the organ and warming horns.

As unlikely as this psychedelic pairing is, Broken Bells really works on every level it should and yet probably shouldn't do (crumbs DM!).


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