Broken Bells - 'INTO THE BLUE'

8/10

Ever since they first came together to release their formative self-titled debut album in 2010, The Shins' frontman James Mercer and producer Danger Mouse have always felt like a match made in heaven. While Danger Mouse's usual pursuit within the hip-hop or blues-rock worlds have been extremely well-received over the years, the pair's work within Broken Bells has always been a touch outside their comfort zones, making for a brilliantly distinctive endeavour. And after an eight-year break since their sophomore outing 'After The Disco', they now return with their long-awaited third studio album 'INTO THE BLUE', a record that looks to rekindle that initial majesty.

From the very start, Broken Bells has always been a raw yet ethereal project that looks to highlight their own distinctive prowess within this field, and 'INTO THE BLUE' feels no different to those original ideals. While Mercer's vocal tend to take more of a backseat throughout this new release, the warm and inviting compositions make for a beautifully alluring listen. With a sweet and harmonious feel running the length of their newest collection, there is a rich and spiritual texture that envelops this new full-length and sees them return with just as much fresh and engaging energy as they arrived with.

'INTO THE BLUE' may have been a longtime coming, but after just a few tracks, it is clear that this is a project these two have plenty of love and admiration for. Broken Bells may not be the focus of either members' careers, but they still manage to fill it with mesmerising aesthetics that very few can match.

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