Broken Bells - Columbia
FILTER Grade: 81%
By A.D. Amorosi on March 24, 2010
Once he started working with cats like Beck and The Rapture, the idea of working with Danger Mouse wasn’t as rare and dangerous as it had been when Damon Albarn and Cee-Lo teamed with the sampladelic producer. No worries. The Mouse is a genius who could probably future-funk-up even alterna-folkies like Shins frontman James Mercer. As Broken Bells, Mercer and Mouse appropriate a nifty slo-psychedelic swish (“The High Road”) and an electro-soul flutter (“The Ghost Inside”) as backdrops for its clarion-clear vocals and sad-eyed lyrics. In terms of sweetness, its melodies match Mercer’s voice; he’s never sounded as dear as he does throughout Broken Bells. In terms of arrangements, Danger loves the tone of big rock organ (from The Band to The Attractions) and the whoosh of strings from guitarist Mercer and epic composer Daniele Luppi. What Broken Bells lacks in risk it makes up in tenderness. Aww.