Broken Bells [+Video]
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Broken Bells [+Video]

March 9, 2010

  Song Title
The High Road (Album Version)
Vaporize (Album Version)
Your Head Is On Fire (Album Version)
The Ghost Inside (Album Version)
Sailing To Nowhere (Album Version)
Trap Doors (Album Version)
Citizen (Album Version)
October (Album Version)
Mongrel Heart (Album Version)
The Mall & Misery (Album Version)
Video: The High Road (Video)

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: March 9, 2010
  • Release Date: March 9, 2010
  • Label: Columbia
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 41:14
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B003B06Q40
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #891 Paid in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 Paid in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 102 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A phenomenal pairing March 9, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
When James Mercer, singer/guitarist for the Shins, and producer Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) announced in the fall of 2009 that they would be releasing an album together as Broken Bells, it instantly became one of the most anticipated alternative albums of 2010. Instead of becoming just another Danger Mouse collaboration saturated with samples, every instrument was played and recorded in the studio.

Mercer went through some evolution for this record as well. Although his work on the Shins' records often required high register vocals, his voice breaks into the falsetto range on Broken Bells as well as dropping into the lower depths of his capability.

Where many collaboration albums often fall into a competition for influence, Mercer and Burton embrace each other's strengths which results in an extremely well balanced blend of the two artists' styles. The first track, "The High Road," opens sounding very much like another Gorillaz track. This should come as no surprise since Danger Mouse produced their second record, but after twenty five seconds of waiting for Damon Albarn's trademark vocals, the music transitions into a track much more comparable to the Shins' previous releases.

On the following track, "Vaporize," Mercer is given the introduction before Burton's influence fades into the mix.

Easily the catchiest song on the album, "The Ghost Inside" is Danger Mouse's only true feature song. With a beat resembling that of "Kids With Guns" on the Gorillaz album Demon Days, and falsetto vocals reminiscent of Burton's other major project, Gnarls Barkley, "The Ghost Inside" is as close as Broken Bells gets to a club worthy hit.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Contender for Album of the Year March 9, 2010
Format:MP3 Music
Danger Mouse is on a roll and this collaboration with James Mercer of The Shins is beautifully unexpected. I was expecting something similar to his work on Beck's Modern Guilt, Gnarl Barkley, Gorillaz, or Damon Albarn's Good, Bad & the Queen.

Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) plays his own instruments rather than sampling while bringing the same melodic intensity. Mercer brings his signature vocals. Together, the result is immediate and exactly what 2009 was lacking IMO.

Worth the price at any price.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bell loudly tolls... March 9, 2010
Format:Audio CD
Broken Bells is producer du jour Dangermouse's latest musical venture comprising himself and vocalist James Mercer from Indie band The Shins. The pair say songwriting was shared 50/50 and the result is an album comprising 10 tracks, which are experimental and melodic, with sonic variety.

Everything stands out really, from opening "The high road" with guitars and soothing harmonies, the acoustic Beatles-meets-U2 "Vaporize", to the groovy falsetto-sung "The ghost inside" (which wouldn't sound out of place on Gorillaz new CD).

The psychedelic "Sailing to nowhere" is delicate with ghostly harmonies, "October" has a lovely piano refrain, while "The mall & misery" has a Middle Eastern feel.

My favourite track is "Mongrel heart" with a wavy groovy baseline, cascading harmonies, and a string/mariachi horn break, simply stupendous! Hopefully, we'll be hearing more from the pair.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Band in Concert and on Record October 19, 2010
By Bailey
I was not familiar with this band until recently. Some concert tickets landed in my lap, so my wife and I went to the show - boy can they play! It seemed that every member of the team played a wide variety of instruments and roles. The music was fun and the concert setting was a fun way to experience their synergy.

The LP pressing is excellent, and those with good equipment will not be disappointed.

Listening in the living room was, of course, different from a concert setting. You hear many subtleties and harmonies that may be drowned out in the live event. In this setting it took me a couple of listens to get used to the music. Then it started to resonate with me in a new way. There is a lot built into these songs. It is now among my favorite albums and it continues to grow on me.

Sure am glad I got to see these guys and hear their unique voice. Thanks, Broken Bells, for expanding my musical world!
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome album March 9, 2010
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
Probably the album of the year so far. Not one bad song on it. The beats are musically interesting and I really like Mercers vocals in the Shins and they are just as good here. Good lyrics too. Definitely buy this one if you want some great music.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Down-tempo, groove-filled and great. April 8, 2010
Format:Audio CD
The primary vibe I hear and enjoy in this music is something that reminds me of a certain type of band from the 1980s -- in Broken Bells, I hear echoes of The Church and Flock of Seagulls and Psychedelic Furs and Naked Eyes and the Cars and the Thompson Twins and Level 42.

But those echoes I hear are more about melodic melancholy than anything having to do with the Reagan era or new wave, because the album sounds too timeless to spring from one particular decade. The instruments, particularly the keyboards, are many and varied, and the style of a song often shifts several times during the course of these suite-like tracks.

It's a really adhesive record -- My first reaction was, "This is OK." Then "This is better than I thought." Then I realized it was most of what I was listening to. And, like most great albums, it has songs that tend to grow on you just as you were beginning to get a little tired of the ones that had grown on you before.

I'd like to talk about the production (which is quite similar to Danger Mouse's work with Damon Albairn on the second Gorillaz), about James Mercer's vocals and his extremely unusual lyrics. But I think I would start on that task and write one of those 10-page long, slightly crazed reviews that few people ever read.

So I'll just say this: "Broken Bells" is down-tempo, groove-filled and great. I started out buying just a track here and a track there and, before I knew it, had the whole damn thing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Selection
Discovered this dynamic duo after the release of their second album. So glad I order both albums! Everyone in our household loves them.
Published 2 days ago by Jenny
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing music
I love this album because it's catchy and not sugary plastic pop. You can listen to it in the car without getting annoyed.
Published 10 days ago by pitaquachi
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Great condition! Case was nice and CD looked brand new and sounded new as well. Thanks so much ! !
Published 1 month ago by AARP2010
5.0 out of 5 stars Best debut album from a band
I have played this album to death since it first came out. It's great from the first track to the last. Nothing but brilliance in every note. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Marty Mankins
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Album
This album keeps getting better each time I listen to it. I am really glad that I made the purchase.
Published 2 months ago by Chris J Eilers
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I believe this is an exceptional album. What a great team these two make. There are several things I love about this album, it manages to be catchy without being pop-y. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Deal Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice tunes!
This was a gift for my son who is collecting vinyls. It came on time and in perfect condition! We are very happy with our choice.
Published 2 months ago by Katherine J. Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars where was the publicity?
ridiculously late to this. fans of both primary artists. just a great collaboration that I cannot play enough, with a fresh and yet retro psychedelic sound that seduces like a... Read more
Published 3 months ago by kadzy
5.0 out of 5 stars Cant be beat!
Delivered more than expected. The shines+ Danger Mouse= A fantastic combo. Looking forward to there next album "After the disco."
Published 3 months ago by Bryan Zanca
5.0 out of 5 stars Danger Mouse a lion in the studio..................
Outstanding album. James Mercer has great vocal talents and Brian Burton's multi-instrumental skills are evident on every cut. A pop with an edge beauty.
Published 3 months ago by George Hartselle II
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