Albums to watch

Broken Bells

Broken Bells

Broken Bells

Shins front man James Mercer and Brian Burton, better know as Danger Mouse with a project born from a mutual love of each others music

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  1. 9.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    Plaintive in mood and oriental in style, its laconic feel is as fitting as it is overpowering
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  2. 9.0 |   The Digital Fix

    What Mercer and DM have created here is a truly collaborative effort, one that successfully merges both their strengths, giving birth to something they can proudly add to their respective catalogues
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  3. 8.3 |   Beats Per Minute

    Even though the “supergroup” moniker hasn’t been tossed around in regards to Broken Bells, it’s a project that seems more deserving of such a title than many recent bands who have received i
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  4. 8.0 |   The Observer

    Mercer's fine songcraft and sanguine vocals have been adroitly treated with playfulness and polished throughout
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  5. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    t’s one of those few and far between albums that works as an out and out album. In an industry leaning increasingly towards the singles market it is quite refreshing to have something that works so well as a complete package
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  6. 8.0 |   The Scotsman

    Mercer is a beguiling vocalist, Burton is a talented sound alchemist and both men are handy with an effortlessly captivating melody
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  7. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Print edition only

  8. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    The two pop-science geeks are a perfect match. Danger Mouse pushes Mercer's gorgeous, existential tunecraft outward with Day-Glo dynamics
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  9. 8.0 |   The Independent

    Mercer's gnomic lyrics, and gift for plucking enigmatic new melodies from familiar old chords, have found a safe new home with Burton
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  10. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    Mercer's floaty voice suits the woozy mood, though the pair get a serious groove going with standout track The Ghost Inside
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  11. 8.0 |   Click Music

    The quality tracks are plentiful here, and although at times hidden, it’s worth every effort to find the moments of inspiration in each
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  12. 8.0 |   The Times

    The production amounts to a monastic commitment to teasing out the details of Mercer’s songs in shades of analogue warmth
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  13. 8.0 |   God Is In The TV

    An album that doesn’t bludgeon you over the head, or try to outsmart your taste, but instead intrigues, enchants and finally delights with its patient grace
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  14. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    As the rich, elegant opener, The High Road , shows, this is about working to the strengths of both players rather than taking a leap into the unknown
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  15. 7.2 |   Pitchfork

    Not quite up to the level of either's best projects, but in its own quiet way, it hits its marks
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  16. 7.0 |   Under The Radar

    Broken Bells produces enough magic for one to hope Burton and Mercer don't move on quite yet, but stick around for another few dates
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  17. 7.0 |   Independent on Sunday indie-electro-pop hybrid of every music you have ever loved, a sort of perkier and less po-faced Woodface-era Crowded House
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  18. 7.0 |   NME

    Print edition only

  19. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    It may not be the masterwork both of these talents are capable of, but it’s a mini-triumph on its own, and that’s worth celebrating
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  20. 6.0 |   Spin

    Broken Bells is mostly a calm and measured experiment. The album seems to want to rewrite the Zombies' master class in baroque pop-rock, 1968's Odessey and Oracle. Instead, it veers into pretty, fussed-over easy listening
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  21. 6.0 |   Rave Magazine

    There’s lots of ennui, which is okay, but given Mercer’s track record at writing catchy songs with The Shins, this album’s lack of memorable hooks is puzzling at least, if not downright disappointing
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  22. 6.0 |   No Ripcord

    Broken Bells is clearly a mood record, but even with so many textures, resources and talent, it all hits one stilted note
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  23. 6.0 |   Eye Weekly

    While the album makes for an intriguing listen, the songs lack memorable hooks
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  24. 6.0 |   Bowlegs

    Just think of all that hype last year around Them Crooked Vultures; it seems inevitable to feel disappointed – and sadly, Broken Bells veers closer to this camp, even if only just
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  25. 6.0 |   FasterLouder

    Broken Bells is ultimately a well produced, well performed missed opportunity
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  26. 6.0 |   Q

    Print edition only

  27. 6.0 |   Uncut

    Print edition only

  28. 6.0 |   The Sunday Times

    ...the pair seem to be showing you how the songs go, rather than committing to a full-blooded, definitive performance
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  29. 6.0 |   Daily Telegraph the end the duo really lock together to hypnotic effect
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  30. 6.0 |   The Skinny

    Ultimately, echoes/pastiches of the aural landscapes of artists such as Air and Gorillaz is all very well; just it would be nice to know what the Broken Bells sound actually is
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  31. 3.0 |   Blurt

    Nothing more than a perfect example of the case that MOR is still very much alive and well in the 21st century
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Broken Bells: Broken Bells

  • Download full album for just £4.49
  • 1. The High Road £0.99
  • 2. Vaporize £0.99
  • 3. Your Head Is On Fire £0.99
  • 4. The Ghost Inside £0.99
  • 5. Sailing to Nowhere £0.99
  • 6. Trap Doors £0.99
  • 7. Citizen £0.99
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  • 9. Mongrel Heart £0.99
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