Broken Bells

Broken Bells “After the Disco” offers up more brilliance from Mercer and Burton

If you’re a Portland Radio Project listener and were a Disco music fan in the 80’s, there’s no doubt Broken Bells‘ new hit single “Holding on for Life” has caught your attention by now. However, if appreciation for disco doesn’t describe you, keep reading, because the new album by American indie rock band Broken Bells has lots more going on for it.

How could it not?

James Mercer, superb lead vocalist and guitarist for indie rock band The Shins, and renowned musician / producer Brian Burton have been collaborating together since 2008, when they were nominated for a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album for their debut “Broken Bells” CD.

Broken Bells - After the Disco

The new release opens with the flawless notes of “Perfect World,” a soaring, uplifting 6-minute pop-infused track that finds Mercer reflecting upon life’s up’s and down’s, and emerging a winner. A lyric sample:

“Oh, London Moon, help me stumble home
Let me lose myself along the way
I’ve got nothing left, it’s kind of wonderful,
Cause there’s nothing they can take away”

Perfect World

Equally appealing is the album’s second track, while the lengthy “Leave it Alone” with its soulful vocals and beautiful acoustic guitar touches, describes life’s sad illusions in a way sure to capture your heart. Succinctly described, it’s music at its best.

Leave it Alone

About Broken Bells

Broken Bells are James Mercer, vocalist, guitarist and frontman for indie rock band The Shins, and musician and producer Brian Burton, better-known by his stage moniker Danger Mouse. A masterful musician, Burton has collaborated and produced music for Gnarls Barkley, The Black Keys and U2.

But Wait, There’s More

Whether it’s Broken Bells’ catchy hit single “Holding on for Life,” the tasteful synthesizer and bright pop sounds of “Control” and “The Changing Lights,” the melancholy “Angel and the Fool” or the transformative “Medicine,” all tracks here are well executed and deserve attention.

Last but not least, longtime Shins fans are sure to appreciate the sumptuous feel of “Lazy Wonderland.” With it’s finely crafted chorus and interesting sound effects and percussion, it meanders along in a refreshing but subtle fashion reminiscent of much of their earlier works, most notably their 2007 “Wincing the Night Away.”

On Columbia Records, “After the Disco” is available on amazon and iTunes

Cynthia Orlando
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