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Broken Bells (Amazon Exclusive Version)

Broken Bells (Amazon Exclusive Version)

8 Mar 2010
3.8 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Broken Bells (Amazon Exclusive Version)
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Product details

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This album isn't something I would have picked out just browsing around, but the description caught my eye so I decided to give it a shot. In a way I'm glad I did, and while it's still not entirely to my tastes it also made me re-think some of the preconceptions I have about indie music.

If I had to classify it I'd place it somewhere between synth-pop and what most people would consider to be 'indie'. Production values are top notch and there are certainly some catchy tracks in there, particularly track 8. Personally I don't think it's a knock-out first album but it's still worth looking into if you think you like one or more of the genres it moves between.

4 stars, because while I might not be bowled over it is very well produced and I can see how others might like it.
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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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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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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Broken Bells is the first album from duo comprising of Dangermouse (famous as music producer of electric and hop-hop music) and the lead singer and guitarist of The Shins.

On first listening to this album I am struck how accessible it is. They use an eclectic mix of musical influences. I can hear The Beatles (Vaporize, The High Road), Bowie (Citizen), 60's folk rock (Your Head is on Fire) and 70's rock (Sailing to Nowhere). There are little snatches of Gorillaz (The Ghost Inside) and Fleet Foxes (Vaporize) as well.
As might be expected, the album is really well-produced and I love the singer's voice which at times reminds me of the Fleet Foxes lead singer. The instrumentation is really interesting at times.

The outstanding tracks for me are: The Mall and Misery, The High Road and October.

I enjoyed this album but it didn't really grab me as I like to be grabbed by music. I think that the fact that there were so many different obvious styles (even within one song) irritated me a little. I don't want them to sound the same but I want to know where they are coming from. Maybe the next one will improve. I don't discount them yet.
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Format: Audio CD
Just as the title says, amazing, this album took me on a journey. I would happily sit and listen to James Mercer's voice all day.
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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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