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Albums Reviews

Broken Bells

[Three stars]
Meyrin Fields
Columbia

Jon Dolan Apr 05, 2011

James Mercer and Danger Mouse are first-class astral geeks. And on last year’s Broken Bells, the Shins frontman and the hip-hop surrealist came up with melancholic psychedelic folk hop ”“ somewhere between Pet Sounds and De La Soul Is Dead. This EP suggests their one-off is a full-on “project.” Mercer rolls out bright, mussy melodies and turns up his guitar a little, and D.M. decks out his tunes with elegiac surf guitar, computer funk and clouds of candy noise ”“ it’s otherworldly but still heart-tugging. “The oddity is aching,” Mercer sings; it could be a Bells-tour T-shirt slogan, though these guys seem happiest in their studio bunker.

Key Tracks: ”˜Meyrin Fields,’ ”˜Heartless Empire’

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