Album Reaction: Bookie on Broken Bell’s ‘After the Disco’

Bookie reviews Broken Bells' sophomore album After The Disco

It’s been four years, one Shins record and a Black Keys Producer Of The Year Grammy since we last heard from Broken Bells.

What started as a musical appreciation society between Shins frontman and uber producer/musician Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) has blossomed into a power packed musical statement on their second LP After The Disco.

While their 2010 debut was pleasant, this time around the record oozes a thick rich power built around Mercer’s voice and a big boss bottom end. The opening track “Perfect World’s” six and half minutes floats by as the song cuts and jabs.

The opening single “Holding Onto Life” replicates the vibe of mid 70’s Bee Gee’s without the weight of nostalgia, and “Last Wonderland” uses space and sparseness to make its point. Elsewhere on tracks like “Control” and “Medicine”, Danger Mouse lets Mercer’s vocals stand centre stage to sell the plot.

And like a good record should, the last track leaves us with much to discuss. In this case it’s the “what’s it all about” tune “The Remains Of Rock & Roll” which ends one conversation while starting another.

The duo’s natural talent can barley be contained within the grooves of this standout album.

I just wish the CD booklet was easier to read.

Broken Bells play the Danforth Music Hall March 3rd.