Use your intuition, it's all you've got... (Broken Bells - The Malls and Misery)
My favorite cd of the year so far is Broken Bells by Broken Bells. The question is who the heck are the Broken Bells. James Mercer of The Shins and musician/producer Dangerous Mouse met in 2004 at a Danish music festival and being fans of each others works decided to record together. In 2008 they finally got together in the studio and started recording as the Broken Bells. The result is a great blend of The Shins quirky melodies and lyrics with the experimental/hip-hop (trip-hop) of Dangerous Mouse previous works.
The cd opens with The High Road which starts with electronic swirling keyboards and then a hip-hop drum beat and when the singing starts it immediately evokes The Shins. Vaporize is powered by a driving organ, tight brushed drumming and very melodic bass; The Ghost Inside echoes the sound of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy (Gnarls Barkley was the name the band that Dangerous Mouse and Cee-Lo recorded under; Crazy was one of the best singles of 2006); The Mall and Misery is another winner that begins slow with a acoustic instruments and then breaks into an alluring tune with a great guitar sound.
Broken Bells is a solid recording with no low spots. The music is hypnotic and captivating.