first came the announcement that shins frontman james mercer and superproducer danger mouse had teamed up to form a duo called broken bells. then came the viral mind-games. and now we have the broken bells self titled album on columbia. other than string arrangements by composer daniele luppi, danger and mercer play every instrument on the 10-song album. mercer sings and plays guitar and bass, while danger handles drums, organ, piano, synth, and bass. dangermouse's slick and smooth production meshes nice with mercers intricate vocal and guitar melodies, which often sound deceptively simple while hiding his great songwriting talents. the two have pieced together a melodically experimental venture filled with clever twists and erratic turns.