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Broken Bells Import

66 customer reviews

Price: £7.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Biography

James Mercer and Brian Burton a/k/a Danger Mouse have completed work on the first album by their new and ongoing band Broken Bells. The album, also titled Broken Bells, is available now on CD, LP and limited edition music box.

The album features 10 melodically seductive and psychologically provocative songs co-written and performed by Mercer and Burton. Titles include "The High ... Read more in Amazon's Broken Bells Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Mar. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B0031AV72Q
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,741 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. High Road
2. Vaporize
3. Your Head Is On Fire
4. Ghost Inside, The
5. Sailing To Nowhere
6. Trap Doors
7. Citizen
8. October
9. Mongrel Heart
10. The Mall And The Misery

Product Description

BBC Review

The word "psychedelic" is one of those phrases – like "genius", "edgy" and "Pete Doherty arrested" – which has become somewhat devalued by over-use. Yet it certainly suits this collaboration between The Shins frontman James Mercer and studio maverick Brian ‘Danger Mouse’ Burton – a short (barely 37 minutes), sweet’n’sour and head-spinningly trippy affair.

Since first seizing our attention with The Grey Album in 2004 – an inspired, irreverent shotgun marriage of Jay-Z’s Black Album with The Beatles’ White Album – Danger Mouse has been the hardest working whiz kid in show business, collaborating with everyone from Gorillaz to Beck between holding down a day job as one half of Gnarls Barkley. You might imagine he was spreading himself a bit thin, but hooking up with Mercer seems to have unlocked new stores of creativity.

Ears are pricked from the first bars of opener The High Road. Toytown melodica forms some delightfully incongruous icing on a sumptuous melodic layer cake, built on a bed of lilting acoustic guitar chords and then covered in warm creamy harmonies, finished with a lullaby sing-along.

Mercer’s gently off-beam pop songs are lit up colourfully by the duo’s choice of arrangements. Vaporize lulls you into a sweet reverie with mariachi horns and hypnotic backing vocals, while the uneasy urgency of Mongrel Heart eases off into a giddy carousel of Wurlitzer-style organ. And just as you’re getting comfortable, the lyrical barbs appear: “Don’t laugh, we’ve been through this / If you want to f*** with me, you should know…”

Your Head Is on Fire sounds like it has resurrected lost snippets from The Beach Boys’ Smile sessions, before waves of wah-wah-ing keyboards and whispering mantras softly lap at your ears. It’s intoxicating stuff. And the songs also hold up in different stylistic clothing: The Ghost Inside’s falsetto vocals, simple four-chord chorus and shimmying pop groove has echoes of unlikely bedfellows such as The Dandy Warhols.

The vibe is a dreamy one throughout, but prickly undercurrents keep reappearing, as on Citizen when a disembodied voice sings: “This is a day without a trace of reason… the innocent are bound to the damned.” Rarely have such brooding sentiments sounded so alluring. In summary, then: we’ll have what they’re having. --Johnny Sharp

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By B. Yeoh on 17 Jun. 2010
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Being more or less unfamiliar to the prior works of the artists, I came to this album fresh.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a gently engaging collection of melodic songs. The album is deceptively complex. At first listen, it sounds nice enough, but repeat listenings reveal subtleties in the both the music and vocals.

I might have dismissed this as accessible, unchallenging indie, but there is more to this album than meets the eye (ear?).

Not one to love, but I like it plenty.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By ploppy on 27 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
Why such mixed reviews? This is a MASTERPIECE; that sounds more impressive with every listen. Love the Shins, especially Wincing The Night Away but this album goes the extra mile. Mercer's voice is subtle yet distictive,the production is superb. Santagold-esque sounds in "The Ghost inside" one of the stand out tracks for me as is "Your Head Is On Fire", "Trap Doors" and the Mall & Misery". Like the Shins, stick with this album it is pure quality with a wonderful array of sounds and styles that leave you hooked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Horn on 20 Dec. 2010
Format: Audio CD
I really don't understand the negative reviews - each to their own, and all that (as James Mercer sings on the impossibly good 'The High Road') but whatever your musical preference there's no denying that this is one of the great albums of 2010...for me, it tops the list.
Any praise of Broken Bells is bound to lead to a comparison with The National and Arcade Fire, both of whom would seem to be many people's choice for album of the year (with High Violet and The Suburbs, respectively) - and deservedly so, both these albums are indeed very, very good - but as I say, to each their own: personally, I find High Violet a little tiresome and predictable; I much prefer The Suburbs, but even then I don't find it particularly inspiring on any level.
If you're a fan of The Shins, as has already been suggested here, you'll no doubt like this album...but believe me, it's so much more than just another Shins record. It's beautifully crafted - the writing, vocals, instrumentation, and production is excellent - but more than that, it brings a smile to my face every time I press 'play' on my stereo and for that reason alone it deserves my title of album of the year.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Automagicalness on 6 Feb. 2012
Format: Audio CD
£3.99 is a extra large hot chocolate with cream. £3.99 is a small fast food meal? or £3.99 is an album you will keep coming back to possibly like me on Sunday mornings with heaps of college work and a mug of tea.

Great Album
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Geek on 5 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was really looking forward to the release of the first album by Broken Bells, as I'm a huge fan of both James Mercer and Danger Mouse (Brian Burton). Mercer, as the lead singer and songwriter for the pop/rock band The Shins, has been responsible for some of the most intricate and beautifully crafted songs of the last 10 years, yet has eluded mainstream recognition and acclaim. Burton, respected producer and one half of the electrifying and eclectic Gnarls Barkley, has a unique gift for creating interesting soundscapes and mastering the strengths of whatever genre he chooses to work with, often forging brilliant work from the most disparate of musical arenas.

Broken Bells the album arrived accompanied by a huge amount of expectation. I think the album certainly lives up to the quality of both bandmember's previous works, but for the most part takes off in a completely different direction. Mercer's intimate vocals are mainly set against insistent synths, relaxed guitars and intricate percussion, Burton's excellent production work giving each song depth without overpowering Mercer's contributions.

Particular highlights include the soaring chorus of "The High Road" with warm backing vocals; the languid experimentation of "Your Head Is On Fire"; the simple beauty of "Citizen"; and "October" which evokes The Shins' best work in its easy depth of feeling summoned by effective piano and guitar instrumentation. My favourite song would have to be "The Ghost Inside". It is driven by a catchy electronic punch and handclaps, featuring dark and intriguing lyrics which really test Mercer's vocal range. It is very reminiscent of Burton's work on the second Gorillaz album Demon Days, which is high praise indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charlie-CJ HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 22 Aug. 2010
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Broken Bells is an American rock music band based around Brian Burton and James Mercer. These two are the creative force in Broken Bells, although they are joined by a full band on tour. Following the success of this album, the good news is that Mercer and Burton have said they will record a follow-up. I'm not quite sure how to describe the band, almost a bit like a slowed down version of YES, but this time you can understand the lyrics. Can't really say whether I have a favourite 'song' on Broken Bells, as all the tracks are of similar quality really, having a similar tempo and feel, making it a very consistent and cohesive album.

The sound is very synthesiser-rock, quite gentle and almost hypnotic, with perhaps a folksie feel as well. For techno-rock one does think of British band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark [OMD], and I have to say I rate them higher than Broken Bells when at their best. So if you like this album I would check OMD's albums out as well, with probably 'Universal' and 'Architecture & Morality' being as good a starting point as any. However, if like me you already have all of OMD's CDs then why not take a punt with this band. Listen to the Broken Bells MP3 samplers first though to see if you like their overall sound. Chances are you will - and hopefully, like OMD, their music will only get better in the follow up albums. Easily 4*.
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