Broken Bells – INTO THE BLUE

New Broken Bells release 'INTO THE BLUE' continues to feel like a side-project, sort of a synth-based Shins, but still has its quality....
Broken Bells : INTO THE BLUE
7.2 AWAL
2022 
Broken Bells : INTO THE BLUE

When producer extraordinaire Danger Mouse and The Shins main man James Mercer teamed up as Broken Bells over a decade ago with their self-titled debut (QRO review), it did feel like less than the sum of the duo’s impressive parts, a fine diversion, but not what you wanted them to be focused on. 2014’s After the Disco (QRO review) upped their game somewhat, particularly after repeated listens. New release INTO THE BLUE continues to feel like a side-project, sort of a synth-based Shins, but still has its quality.

BLUE is drenched in both electronics and sadness, from the (not all-caps) titular opener on. Mercer’s vocals are as on-point as always, even if so attached to The Shins since Garden State that one can’t help but wish for more of his guitars from that band. The album goes into full-on smooth sound easy listening with the seventies “Love On the Run” and more evening eighties “One Night”, plus sees slightly sitar-psych addition on “Saturdays”.

Like Broken Bells as a whole, INTO THE BLUE isn’t going to make you forget about Danger Mouse & James Mercer’s main gigs, but also maintains as a nice side-project.

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