Album: Broken Bells, Broken Bells (Columbia)

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The Independent Culture

Burton hops between musical collaborations the way other people change shoes, but this new venture with the Shins' James Mercer is, he tells us, a keeper.

This is a good thing: Burton saves Mercer from twee, while Mercer adds the pop punch Burton has been missing since his days with Gorillaz and Gnarls Barkley. When it works – as on "The High Road" and "The Ghost Inside" – it's an indie-electro-pop hybrid of every music you have ever loved, a sort of perkier and less po-faced Woodface-era Crowded House.