Showing posts with label broken bells. Show all posts
Showing posts with label broken bells. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

video review: 'after the disco' by broken bells

Damn, I wish I could have liked this album more than I do. Gah.

Next up will probably be Eric Paslay. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

album review: 'after the disco' by broken bells

It's hard to know what you'll get when you have two acts choosing to collaborate - because believe it or not, you don't always get success.

Yeah, I've covered a number of great collaborations - Run The Jewels, Step Brothers, half of Within Temptation's last album - but you don't always get success when you put together artists that have differing musical styles. Now you don't always get disasters either - the odds of getting a Lulu (Metallica/Lou Reed) aren't likely because true catastrophe albums are pretty rare (and they tend to be hastily edited by the label into something salvageable unless the artists have too much clout for their own good - see here). More often than not you either get wildly incompatible styles and a lack of cohesion that doesn't quite damn the album but doesn't save it either, or you get a fusion in between that's agreeable, but doesn't fully embrace either acts' strengths.

And it's in the latter category where I originally placed Broken Bells' self-titled debut album. James Mercer of critically acclaimed indie rock group The Shins and acclaimed producer Danger Mouse came together to form the Broken Bells project, and at the time, I mostly liked the results. The Shins have always had a taste for blissed-out psychedelia and old-fashioned pop that made their first three albums infinitely listenable, and combined with Danger Mouse's eclectic brand of production and Mercer's painfully honest and emotionally effective lyrics, Broken Bells had a lot of catchy, effective charm, even if it was a bit lightweight in terms of subject matter and it never really came together into something special. In other words, it wasn't indicative of both men's best work, and when James Mercer went back and made a new Shins album in 2012, I didn't expect to see much from this project again.

Turns out I was wrong, and James Mercer and Danger Mouse have gotten back together to release a new album titled After The Disco under the Broken Bells name. How did it go?