Friday, May 7, 2010

The James Mercer Chronicles

     To coincide with the recent release of the "Broken Bells" album. The collaborative effort from Shins front man James Mercer and musician/producer Brian Burton aka Danger Mouse.  Dirt City Radio episode three is dedicated to the music of James Mercer.  At first "Broken Bells" was a bit underwhelming, but after repeated plays, it really started to grow on me.  I expected this to be  a drastic departure from what I had come to expect from James Mercer, but it's not that different from what James was doing with The Shins. The compositions are subtle, there is more texture and the mix is uncomplicated. What seems to be missing is the swirl of vocals and instrumental strata that made The Shins so good (example: Sleeping Lessons). The production is very radio friendly, geared towards finding  "The Hit" something that will take Mercer to that next level of pop stardom. With this recording James Mercer breaks out from the indie pop mold and proves that he is the best American pop/rock vocalist around. While Burton, like King Midas continues to turn everything he touches into gold.

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