Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Broken Bells – The High Road

Who were those masked men? Who gives a stuff?…


Alfred Soto: Everlast’s “What It’s Like,” served with a tall Pike Place coffee and sugar cookie.

Mallory O’Donnell: Congratulations! Great, great track. I will have to lie down after this one !!

Chuck Eddy: Nobody likes this group, right? Pretty sure I read that somewhere. Was gonna grade it leniently regardless, for making me remember that I didn’t totally hate “Under The Milky Way” by the Church. But then it stopped even reminding me of that.

John Seroff: I love Dangermouse more than the next guy, but really, one Gorillaz is enough, thanks.

Matt Cibula: The textures are nice enough but there is no enjoyment to be had here without way too much effort. This is one of the problems I had with the Shins in the first place.

Iain Mew: The downbeat, monochrome backing here brings out strongly how much I love James Mercer’s voice, elastically springing from exclamatory to subdued and back again, always an assured splash of colour. Modest Mouse aside, this is the best use anyone’s put it to in a very long time.

Alex Ostroff: “The High Road” is catchy enough, in a sleepy sort of way, but sonically it’s essentially the folkier songs from Chutes Too Narrow ornamented with bits of electrodribble. The lyrics are opaque and morose, the drums shuffle and the melody embeds itself in your subconscious. Still, it never quite reaches the heights of perfect pop that Mercer is capable of. Broken Bells might be his main outlet at the moment, but it sounds and feels like an interesting side project, and not much more.

Ian Mathers: I randomly caught the end of this song on Letterman one night, which only makes this version more disappointing; the refrain of “Tell all of your friends you’ve gone” sounded a hell of a lot better being belted out live than coming through Danger Mouse’s increasingly stifling production murk. In fact, here the ending includes an even draggier coda than the version I saw. There, “The High Road” was streamlined but appealingly shaggy, and was probably Mercer’s most winning vocal performance since the golden days of Chutes Too Narrow; here, it just confirms my feeling that both of the participants here peaked way too early for us to still be paying attention.

Anthony Easton: Has a solid Band energy, and jangles in all the right places; half a measure rougher, and it might just have something

Martin Skidmore: I have some residual fondness for DM from Gnarls Barkley, but this is rubbish.

One Response to “Broken Bells – The High Road”

  1. I appreciate the democratic arithmetic of the Jukebox system, but how the fuck did this score identically to LCD Soundsystem’s Drunk Girls? I’ll admit a soft spot to this song, having first heard of it in music pages of a discarded copy of The Sun I found in the backrest on a recent flight. It took my mind off the turbulence. Then again, even a 200 mile flight from Schipol to Southampton is an existential exercise in terror for me., so perhaps my objectivity is skewed.