Thursday, February 17, 2011

Album Review: Broken Bells - Broken Bells (2010)


Broken Bells is the latest project of renowned producer Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) and James Mercer, lead vocalist and guitarist of American Indie rockers The Shins.

Broken Bells is also the name of the duo’s debut album, and it rates (in my house, at least) as one of the nicest surprises of 2010 … containing as it does a pleasant mix of tuneful Indie pop and faux-Sixties guitar rock, actually not too far removed from a late period Beatles-type template, with some mild psychedelia thrown in.

While the music itself is an easy enough listen, and supremely enjoyable in parts, it isn’t especially experimental or challenging, and there is a certain amount of validity in claims that this is a very “safe” album. Much of the lyrical content/subject matter can also come across as being a little vague at times. The predominant theme appears to revolve around a sense of loss, or a yearning for something, without it ever becoming overly explicit or obvious as to what exactly might have been lost, or what specifically is being missed or coveted. Working out the meaning behind the words is a task in itself, but probably not one worth getting too hung up on.

Overall though, this is a pretty solid album, and well worth checking out. I wonder if we’ll get more from this unlikely pairing?  

Highlights: the lead-off single ‘The High Road’, ‘The Ghost Inside’, and ‘Mongrel Heart’.


  1. So stoked to hear their album this week!

  2. yes Jenn, downloaded it yesterday. A fan of these guys. Will review here.