He once audaciously merged Jay Z and Beatles in his The Grey Album and even managed to get some critical acclaim. Brian Burton,aka Danger Mouse,is back with a new project Broken Bells,where he teams up with The Shins singer/guitarist James Mercer.
Their eponymous and tasteful debut has moderate string arrangements,sublime melodies,analog-synth fuzz tuned into mid-tempo kick drums and alternate indie-rock progressions.
In the past,Burtons formidable production skills has nailed albums like Demon Days by Gorillaz and Becks resurrection on Modern Guilt. Here,his multi-instrumental diatribe the swooping organs,condensed pianos,swirling synthesizers and stomping drums slices through Mercers guitars and vocals.
Tracks like The High Road and Vapourize take you on a mellow,bittersweet trajectory. At times,the tunes cross over to spunky space-pop melodies rooted out of samples and 70s sounds. Your Head is on Fire is a breezy retreat,while screeching falsettos spin through The Ghost Inside. Sailing to Nowhere jolts with its Spanish acoustics and trip-hop pianos cross-bred with psychedelic drum beats. The 10-track album closes with The Mall and Misery,which with its choppy chords and catchy melodies keeps the tempo of the album afloat.