ACL Music Fest 2014 Saturday Reviews

ACL Music Fest 2014 Saturday Reviews

Broken Bells

After the Disco (Columbia)

Sci-fi sounds strange coming from an Oregonian folk peddler and hip-hop guru, but Broken Bells' sophomore surprise pulses galactic dreams. Landing us smack in the middle of a universe of shiny production and Eighties synth influence, After the Disco quickly settles into a groove balancing Shins frontman James Mercer and production brain Danger Mouse's home genre disparities. The obvious middle ground: New Wave. The title track could've landed from a Hall & Oates disc, Mercer still slicking up his warm pop vox. "Holding On for Life" draws from the transitional period between Seventies disco and electronic camp from the ensuing neon decades. There's less immediate accessibility for the straight, bass-driven "The Changing Lights," a space cowboy exploration with Bee Gees-like vocal trills. If 2010 debut Broken Bells melted together seemingly incongruous approaches, After the Disco lands Mercer and Danger Mouse in a new universe entirely. (7:30pm, Miller Lite stage)

***

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Broken Bells, ACL Fest 2014

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