I’m going to admit off the bat that I don’t have a lot of experience when it comes to Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse. The closest I’ve come to anything with his mark on it would have to be Gnarls Barkley and the second Gorillaz album, which still holds up for me all these years later. Well, today is the release date for his collaboration with The Shins’ James Mercer, titled Broken Bells. As with the Gorillaz album Plastic Beach, NPR had a preview up all of last week for fans to sample. I gave this one a rather ridiculous amount of play since I’m a rabid fan of The Shins.
My thoughts? It’s solid.
I read through a few early reviews and the general consensus on them is that the album is “meh” or just for the Zach Braff brand of hipster. Their problems with the album, however, are what I like about it. The album is simple, and Mercer proves that he can still work his vocal wonders while evolving his musical styling at the same time. There are moments here and there where the album gets a little slow, and that’s really the only place where I agree with most of the reviewers out there.
If you like either of these two artists and what they do, you’ll want to pick up this album. Like I said, it’s solid and enjoyable.