LP £17.49 88883771611
Ltd LP on Columbia. Edition of 500 copies.
CD £11.49 88883771612
CD on Columbia.
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- After The Disco by Broken Bells
2 reviews. Write a review for us »
When The Shins leader James Mercer emerged with his merry band of misfits with the superb ‘Oh Inverted World’ and ‘’Chutes Too Narrow’ albums, it would have been very hard to predict that in just a few years time he would be involved in making some of the blandest music available.
He’s hooked up with fellow Broken Bell, the ‘super’ producer Dangermouse before on an underwhelming self titled album that most people had probably forgotten all about and certainly didn’t necessitate this follow up. Dangermouse has a certain production style that can work extremely well with particular collaborators such as Cee Lo Green with Gnarls Barkley but it appears not to be in the producers nature to realise there are some things he can’t do particular well and this scrubbed, 70’s disco influenced pop is one of them. Mercer has neither the voice nor the melodic instinct to pull off chart aiming commercial pop so instead the band are caught between two stools. Not edgy enough to appeal to the underground headnodders and not catchy enough to snare the tweenies instead we get oodles of perfectly produced bland pop.
The choruses are big, Mercer’s voice is scrubbed beyond any recognition, ‘After the Disco‘ tries to nick the bassline from Foster the People’s ‘Pumped up Kicks‘ but just makes itself look silly in the process. ‘Holding on for Life‘ flits along like Empire of The Sun before bursting into a Bee Gees aping chorus which is memorable if nothing else. Yet the whole thing smacks of cynicism. Lets get together and make a hit but lets not put any heart, soul, emotion or invention into it. Far too blandly commercial for my tastes, the album is sure to have plenty of appeal but I’m afraid HMS Shins, your captain is lost overboard in a wash of hopeless synths and fake pop moves.
3/10 uxia Customer review, 30th January 2014
The self titled debut had 2 catchy songs, and I respect Danger Mouse and The Shins(even if they're not my favorite musicians). But this one just sounds like Disco Stu from The Simpsons trying to sing like the Bee Gees. It's unnatural, like a pre-school failed art project.
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