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A New Direction for a Band Made Up of Two Seasoned Musicians
on March 30, 2011
After listening to this quaint little EP, I feel like their first album, self-titled Broken Bells, was more of a compromise between the unique styles of James Mercer and Danger Mouse than it was a synergy of sound. Don't get me wrong, that album was clearly a 5 star masterpiece! I say this only because now, considering their more recent work, it appears to me that they are stepping forward not as two individual artists who happened to create a compilation together, but as a single, coherent band. This EP marks a step forward for this band. It sounds more like an initial project than a sophomore effort because, in its own right, it is so raw. The album drifts farther into the world of electronics and synthesizers than anything Mercer has done in the past. Missing is the pop-folk rock underpinnings. Many fans of The Shins may find this EP lacking for that reason. But if you find yourself disappointed with this EP, I challenge you to listen to it again, with fresh ears, because it should be appreciated in its own right as an independent work of art.
If your looking for something more like The Shins, check out James Mercer and fellow Shins members' first band, Flake Music. They released one full length CD in 1997 called When You Land Here, It's Time to Return, which can be found right here on Amazon, used, at a reasonable rate. Flake Music is amazing too. If you are an avid Shins fan, and you haven't heard their early work produced under the alias Flake Music, it is a must that you check it out. Flake Music also produced several singles and EPs in the mid to late 90's, but they are very hard to find.