February 11, 2010

Broken Bells - Broken Bells (2010)

Please do not limit your experience with this album to subdued enjoyment through tinny, acute computer speakers. When in the hands of a producer like Brian Burton, whom you may know as Danger Mouse and I have come to thoroughly respect, you know the full range of sound shall be explored. To really FEEEEL the experience, turning the bass up and putting the top down is absolutely essential. Let me put it this way: If your band’s lead singer was your teenage daughter, and you were a protective father, you would not want said daughter venturing out on her own with a wave-maker possessing Danger Mouse-like skills and experience because she’ll go places she’s never gone before (musically speaking). The man’s resume speaks for itself (Google it!). The freshest notch on his producer belt is James Mercer, lead singer and songwriter for The Shins, whom most people seem to like or at the very least, respect. On their self-titled release, Mercer’s vocals are laced exquisitely over the soft-landing beats and orchestration that Burton lays down, and if you are any sort of radio listener, I’m sure “The High Road” has graced your speakers, whether you knew it or not. Tracks like “The Ghost Inside,” “Citizen” and “October” prove to the naysayers what kind of brilliance the cross-over collaboration can achieve; but, perhaps the lofty prospects and expectations of such a high-profile collaboration are too astronomical to be comprehended, because at the end of the day, this is pretty much what you would expect from two stellar artists coming together. If you like what Burton’s electronic production added to The Black Keys' recent nugget, Attack and Release, and if you have followed The Shins' path since their inauguration, then you’ll know precisely what you’re getting, in a good way. Although The Shins’ audience is not small, there is enough beat-dropping to extend the appeal beyond the indie rock crowd. And if you are a card-carrying fan of these hombres independent of each other, your mind might not be entirely blown, but you will find a best-of-both-worlds collision that you'll be over-playing in no time.


Mona said...

Fiiiiiiinally heard this band. "The High Road" = fantastic. Gave me chills! Can't wait to hear the whole thing.