Saturday, May 8th, 2010

CONTEST – Broken Bells @ The Queen Elizabeth Theatre – June 2, 2010

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceAll anyone’s ever wanted from James Mercer is Shins records. And with three years passed since Wincing The Night Away and the rest of the band dismissed, it seems that making a Shins record is the last thing James Mercer wants to do. But at least he’s doing something again, and at least that something sounds vaguely Shins-ish. I speak, of course, of Broken Bells – his collaboration with producer Danger Mouse, which has yielded an album of the same name.

It’s not a collaboration many had expected, but that goes for most of whom Danger Mouse has worked with so from that angle, perhaps it’s the most natural thing in the world. One of the Mouse’s greatest strengths as a producer is his prêt-à-porter collection of sounds and ideas, and on Broken Bells it sounds as though Mercer is working his way through his wardrobe like one of those change-room film montages. His voice is unmistakeable but the dressings – including but not limited to strings, electronic blips, synthetically-tinged drums and beats – are a fair ways away from the archetypal indie-pop of The Shins. None of it doesn’t work; the record is quite listenable and has its share of stand out moments, but that’s more thanks to the math than magic. Fine as a sidebar, but James? Get back to work.

Broken Bells are taking their show on the road this Summer, including a June 2 date at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto with The Morning Benders as support. Tickets are $37.50 in advance, but courtesy of AEG Live, I’ve got two pairs of tickets to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to see Broken Bells” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and get that in before midnight, May 23.

Video: Broken Bells – “The High Road”

By : Frank Yang at 11:26 am
Category: Contests


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