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Broken Bells — Citizen
Album: Broken Bells
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 738









Released: 2010
Length: 4:29
Plays (last 30 days): 1
This is a day without
A trace of reason
No matter where you turn

And the walls will fall
Affirming nothing
So what's it all about?

Call on a brighter star
Or play your hand as it lays
Wounds always speak too loud

Get along for awhile
Citizen, you will see
How the innocent are bound to the damned
What is, just is, I know
So we're trapped by answers
Love haunts to the end

Are we all to ride
The edge of nothing?
Shake hands if I deny

And if they don't know
Their heart is starving
Cause everyone is right

Get along for awhile
Citizen, you will see
How the innocent are bound to the damned
What is, just is, I know
So we're trapped by answers
Love haunts to the end

From the moment that we're born
Till we're old and tired
Do we ever know people?

From the moment that were born
Till we're old and tired
Do we ever know people?
Comments (78)add comment
I would probably not buy this, or choose purposefully to listen to it, but when Bill mixes it in with his setlist, it sounds great.
 rdo wrote:

It obviously went over your head...back to school!!!!!!!!! 
 
I have this song rated 9 rdo.   

You are such a perceptive chap. 
Dreamy
I suppose this is pop.  But what I like about it is that the song is in no rush to finish.  How many pop songs can say that?
pathetic
 PurplePrincess wrote:
I love this song, I love this entire album and Mercer's voice.
 
I like that your posts are so upbeat. Maybe you were taught as I: "If you can't say something nice…"  Can't say that about everyone here, you may have noticed! :-)
Oh, I like this one, as well.
Great set of HD photos for this song. Kudos!
 westslope wrote:
Sounds like something Top 40 FM radio might play.  Accessible.  Pop.  

 
It obviously went over your head...back to school!!!!!!!!! 
I love this song, I love this entire album and Mercer's voice.
 flyboy wrote:

Begining of this sounds like the song about technology that Kip sang at his wedding.

 

{#High-five}
interesting that Mercer didn't save this for a Shins album.

I'm giving it an 8 just be cuz I'm so happy I don't have to listen to Mumford & Sons again.
 westslope wrote:

fred:  Agreed on all accounts except I think you are dialing into the Scandinavian psyche more than you realize.  

We thoroughly enjoyed the Lisabeth Sander trilogy.  Seems like we should get a hold of the Wallander originals.

 
Have to agree with Fred on this one, even the new Wallander shows bleak, austere, minimalist, endless grey landscapes with just a lone tree, stolid house, muddy track or windwhipped sea. The original is, perhaps, more so.
BTW,
You still there, Fred?
Sounds like something Top 40 FM radio might play.  Accessible.  Pop.  
This song isn't "bad". It's just kind of boring.
Hey Bill I wish you would play The Ghost Inside.
 fredriley wrote:
Having just yesterday evening watched an episode of Wallander (the superior Swedish original), I could just imagine the instrumental parts of this song appearing on the soundtrack. Downbeat, spare, minimalist, melancholy - reminiscent of the washed-out Ystad landscape in the crime series. Or maybe my mind's just working in strange ways on a Monday. Anyway, it's a nice number.
 

fred:  Agreed on all accounts except I think you are dialing into the Scandinavian psyche more than you realize.  

We thoroughly enjoyed the Lisabeth Sander trilogy.  Seems like we should get a hold of the Wallander originals.


Begining of this sounds like the song about technology that Kip sang at his wedding.


What a great set today, it spontaneously made me donate another $10.... SO THERE!!! 

{#Whistle}

I think he sounds like Beck.
 
thenicholas wrote:
I like Mercer's voice in this. Reminds me of Beck a little bit. Or the Eels.
 


Unique sonic space.
Feels like an old-time gramaphone that needs cranking. Gradually ... slowing .... down ..... until ....... it ......... just .......... stops ...........
Great album. Got hold of this after getting into The Shins. Looking forward to new material and fingers crossed for uk tour.....:-)
I've heard stuff from this album on here before, but it is still very good!
Having just yesterday evening watched an episode of Wallander (the superior Swedish original), I could just imagine the instrumental parts of this song appearing on the soundtrack. Downbeat, spare, minimalist, melancholy - reminiscent of the washed-out Ystad landscape in the crime series. Or maybe my mind's just working in strange ways on a Monday. Anyway, it's a nice number.
Playground Love, for real..
I like Mercer's voice in this. Reminds me of Beck a little bit. Or the Eels.
 Chrisdetian wrote:
Beautiful album throughout, many ear worms, became my favorite in the car, intelligent easy listening
 



Love this album. My favorite of 2010. New EP coming out in a couple of weeks too!
Disappointed in the album, but I love this song!
 On_The_Beach wrote:

I always kinda liked the "chord change finger squeak" but hey, that's just me. Different strokes . . .

 
I often have liked the "finger squeak" of new guitar strings as well; in a song like this it works as a percussive element to me.


 mineralBOB wrote:
This song started quite nicely, but immediately turned out to be a bit too cheesy for my taste...{#Rolleyes}
 
I was trying to come up with something ... then I read this. So, what Bob said.
 Chrisdetian wrote:
Beautiful album throughout, many ear worms, became my favorite in the car, intelligent easy listening
 
Like your term "intelligent," because that's a good word to describe these two guys' music — regardless of which group they're with at a given time.

Beautiful album throughout, many ear worms, became my favorite in the car, intelligent easy listening
 sirdroseph wrote:
I am not one of those people that care about derivative, music is music, but seriously, Air needs to be notified of this song for legal reasons!{#Lol} This is a cover of Playground Love only different lyrics, straight up!!{#Eek}
 

Bump, still hear Air.
This song, which I just heard for the first time, reminds me of a song of Phoenix (I believe "Too Young"). Well, I think I like it (as I also do Phoenix).

Nice melody, use of space (silence), harmonization and great flow.   => 8

 

P.S.  I understand the squeaking frets better now and I like it!


 On_The_Beach wrote:

I always kinda liked the "chord change finger squeak" but hey, that's just me. Different strokes . . .

 

Or different squeaks for different geeks.
(I agree with you on a more serious note.)
 Cynaera wrote:
The squeak when the guitarist changes chords drives me nuts. I remember reading an interview with some great guitarist (Mason Williams? Leo Kottke? Gah, I hate getting old) and he said he kept his fingers from squeaking on the strings by wiping his nose. Facial oil is pretty much constant, so he would run his fingertips down the side of his nose to get just enough lubricant to keep the strings from squeaking when he did his chord progressions.

I know - TMI. But it's the truth! And I tried it, and it works. I'm sure there are other ways to keep fingers from making guitar strings squeak, but I prefer the natural approach.
 
I always kinda liked the "chord change finger squeak" but hey, that's just me. Different strokes . . .

 Cynaera wrote:
I think I need to explain my "squeaky-string" statement a little further, because after reading my comment, I sound pretty scary. Growing up, my mom would gripe about singers who slid up to their notes.  She hated all the "bluff" and just wanted the real thing. "If they can't nail the note without sliding up to it, they shouldn't be singing."

I didn't really understand that until I started playing guitar, and then, I discovered that there was a whole different criteria for instruments, but one of the no-no's was to let the listener hear the slide from one chord to the next. It was considered a distraction (and in my case, it WAS a distraction, which is why I love certain guitarists over others.)  That stupid nose-oil trick will always be with me. I'm amateur, but I don't want squeaky strings to detract from my music.

Then again, When Leo does it, it's just art.  It's a matter of preference. Sorta like a sleight of hand, where you know something happened, but you can't figure out how it happened. A chord changed, but you can't hear how it changed, so it's magic.

I am SO not doing well at explaining this...
  You explained it beautifully...I understand. What you said about your mother's gripe is the way I feel when I hear vocals 'doubled' or they have too much echo / delay. It covers up the fact that the singer's voice isn't strong enough. I like the wet sound for effect, but not as a crutch and I can usually tell the difference. 

I like that you have a definite opinion on what you like to hear etc. It makes this forum so much more interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Cynaera.


P.S.  I believe the band introduced the fret squeaks on purpose.  Does it work?  Would require a couple of more listens.
 RedGuitar wrote:
Thought it was Camel.  Pretty nice tune either way.
 

Camel:  the band I keep thinking I should get to know better.

This is not bad.


I agree, I fell in love with this album summer 2010, this song is one of the songs that alone is not my favorite but within the album it flows very well noladq wrote:
My favorite album right now.  Not my favorite song on the album but it's nice mixed in with the rest.{#Music}
 


So loving this!
 peacockangel wrote:

Citizen you'll see
How the innocent are bound to the damned

 
poignant
I think I need to explain my "squeaky-string" statement a little further, because after reading my comment, I sound pretty scary. Growing up, my mom would gripe about singers who slid up to their notes.  She hated all the "bluff" and just wanted the real thing. "If they can't nail the note without sliding up to it, they shouldn't be singing."

I didn't really understand that until I started playing guitar, and then, I discovered that there was a whole different criteria for instruments, but one of the no-no's was to let the listener hear the slide from one chord to the next. It was considered a distraction (and in my case, it WAS a distraction, which is why I love certain guitarists over others.)  That stupid nose-oil trick will always be with me. I'm amateur, but I don't want squeaky strings to detract from my music.

Then again, When Leo does it, it's just art.  It's a matter of preference. Sorta like a sleight of hand, where you know something happened, but you can't figure out how it happened. A chord changed, but you can't hear how it changed, so it's magic.

I am SO not doing well at explaining this...

 Cynaera wrote:
The squeak when the guitarist changes chords drives me nuts. I remember reading an interview with some great guitarist (Mason Williams? Leo Kottke? Gah, I hate getting old) and he said he kept his fingers from squeaking on the strings by wiping his nose. Facial oil is pretty much constant, so he would run his fingertips down the side of his nose to get just enough lubricant to keep the strings from squeaking when he did his chord progressions.

I know - TMI. But it's the truth! And I tried it, and it works. I'm sure there are other ways to keep fingers from making guitar strings squeak, but I prefer the natural approach.
 
I know what you mean...sometimes that sound bugs me too...but it also has an organic sound...like it's real and not some electronic imitator. There used to be a product, not sure if it's still sold that was sorta like a roll on that you'd use on the strings before playing. It was called "Fast Fret"...it was like a deodorant stick for the strings and neck of the guitar. It worked great and it eliminated the noise.

 Cynaera wrote:
The squeak when the guitarist changes chords drives me nuts. I remember reading an interview with some great guitarist (Mason Williams? Leo Kottke? Gah, I hate getting old) and he said he kept his fingers from squeaking on the strings by wiping his nose. Facial oil is pretty much constant, so he would run his fingertips down the side of his nose to get just enough lubricant to keep the strings from squeaking when he did his chord progressions.

I know - TMI. But it's the truth! And I tried it, and it works. I'm sure there are other ways to keep fingers from making guitar strings squeak, but I prefer the natural approach.
 
I can't imagine, as they are so pronounced, that the squeaks in this case are not intentional.  I like the insight though.

This song started quite nicely, but immediately turned out to be a bit too cheesy for my taste...{#Rolleyes}
The squeak when the guitarist changes chords drives me nuts. I remember reading an interview with some great guitarist (Mason Williams? Leo Kottke? Gah, I hate getting old) and he said he kept his fingers from squeaking on the strings by wiping his nose. Facial oil is pretty much constant, so he would run his fingertips down the side of his nose to get just enough lubricant to keep the strings from squeaking when he did his chord progressions.

I know - TMI. But it's the truth! And I tried it, and it works. I'm sure there are other ways to keep fingers from making guitar strings squeak, but I prefer the natural approach.
My favorite album right now.  Not my favorite song on the album but it's nice mixed in with the rest.{#Music}
Nice!
They tried hard...I like that {#Cool}
This is a day without
A trace of reason
No matter where you turn And the walls will fall
Affirming nothing
So what's it all about? Call on your bright star
Or play your hand as it lays
Wounds always speak too loud Get alone for awhile
Citizen you'll see
How the innocent are bound to the damned
What is, just is, I know
So we're trapped by answers
Love haunts to the end Are we all to ride
The edge of nothing?
Shaking hands with fighting eyes? And if they don't know
Their heart is starving
I totally agree. My favorite CD of the year so far.

 
flatpicker wrote:


Totally agree.
One of the better albums to come out this year.
Even though this isn't one of the strongest songs on the record, it's still very good.

 


MORE sappy drivel from these guys. I thought Bill was "disappointed" in the album.
8 {#Arrow} 9

I hope to see a show with Brian Burton someday — everything he does seems to be really good to me — and he does a lot!

Edit: Based on this hearing and the other tracks, I bought the album and it's great! Thanks again, RP, for introducing me to yet another musical treasure!

9 {#Arrow} 10
Thought it was Camel.  Pretty nice tune either way.
 Bocephus wrote:
Not a bad song on this album. Great collaboration that brings out the best in both.
 

Totally agree.
One of the better albums to come out this year.
Even though this isn't one of the strongest songs on the record, it's still very good.

 sirdroseph wrote:
I am not one of those people that care about derivative, music is music, but seriously, Air needs to be notified of this song for legal reasons!{#Lol} This is a cover of Playground Love only different lyrics, straight up!!{#Eek}
 
It's the sax part, right? {#Stupid}
 tkay73 wrote:
Kind of reminds me of the Shins. I like!
 
Well there is a reason for that, if you look at Broken Bell's Wikipedia page ;)

The Shins AND Broken Bells this morning...what a great Friday!  {#Biggrin}
I thought this was Beck.
I am not one of those people that care about derivative, music is music, but seriously, Air needs to be notified of this song for legal reasons!{#Lol} This is a cover of Playground Love only different lyrics, straight up!!{#Eek}
Not a bad song on this album. Great collaboration that brings out the best in both.
Too light and.................fluffy
Oh, I know Air has got to be gearing the lawyers up for having this band rerelease playground love. {#Wink}
Kind of hard to know how I feel about this.  In some ways, its haunting and kind of beautiful but then I get this underlying feel of soundtrack music which is not good.  {#Think}
I never really got into The Shins that much but always appreciated the artistry. Loving this album though. The trademark vocals of James Mercer combined with the arrangements Danger Mouse brings to the table hit the right spot for me.

 
...i'm not sure what i make of this, but i'm thinking it mightn't be particularly good...

i am without words


good stuff ;)
Broken Bells is James Mercer of The Shins and Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) of Gnarls Barkley.
Thanks RP...{#Yes}
Nice to see new stuff on RP, my upload slots are loaded or I would have tired a few tracks from this album, Gr{#Mrgreen}eat 
Kind of reminds me of the Shins. I like!