The at-first unusual collaboration between James Mercer of The Shins and artist/producer Brian Burton, AKA Danger Mouse, is hard not to appreciate – if not love – on this, their second album.

It’s a record clutching post-disco straws, but providing relief from the more dance-oriented tracks are songs like ‘Leave It Alone’, which emits a certain loneliness that actually feels like the come-down after the school disco – when everyone’s waiting to be picked up, and the DJ plays to a dancefloor filled only with deflated spirits and lost loves.

ET-like synths throughout ‘Holding On For Life’ balance out Mercer’s Bee Gees-inclining falsetto, and the electro syncopations in leading track ‘Perfect World’ are a not-too-distracting background to a pleasant melody and Mercer’s infallible vocals.

The aeronautic romance of the two-part short film that accompanies this album is worth a YouTube visit, if only to help appreciate the sonic lushness ofAfter The Disco.

Broken Bells make galactic soundscapes seem musical and distinct on a record combining the genius of Mercer and Burton into one, big space odyssey.

3.5 stars

After The Disco out now on Columbia/Sony

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