After the Disco

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After the Disco
After The Disco Cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 31, 2014 (2014-01-31)
RecordedOctober 2012 – November 2013 at
Mondo Studio and Sonora Recorders
(Los Angeles, California)
Glenwood Place Studios
(Burbank, California)
Firehouse Studios
(Pasadena, California)
GenreIndie rock, space rock
ProducerDanger Mouse
Broken Bells chronology
Meyrin Fields
After the Disco
Singles from After the Disco
  1. "Holding On for Life"
    Released: November 21, 2013[1]
  2. "After the Disco"
    Released: January 7, 2014[2]
  3. "Perfect World"
    Released: February 4, 2014 (stream)[3]
  4. "Leave It Alone"
    Released: February 4, 2014 (stream)[4]
  5. "Control"
    Released: April 14, 2014 (radio)[5]

After the Disco is the second studio album by American alternative rock band Broken Bells. Recorded with the seventeen-piece Angel City String Orchestra and a four-piece choir, the album was released by Columbia Records on January 31, 2014. The album follows the band's 2013 single, "Holding On for Life", which features as the third track on the album. After the Disco was written by band members James Mercer and Brian Burton, and produced by Burton.


The album was primarily recorded by the band at Mondo Studio in Los Angeles, California. The album, which started recording in early 2012,[6] was recorded with a four-piece choir.The album was also recorded at two secondary recording studios, Sonora Recorders, also located in Los Angeles, and Firehouse Studios, located in Pasadena, California.[7]

Orchestral and string recordings were conducted at the Glenwood Place Studios, located in Burbank, California, with The Angel City String Orchestra. With an arrangement of eleven violins, three cellos and three violas, conducted by Daniele Luppi, the orchestra recorded music for "Leave It Alone", "The Changing Lights", "Lazy Wonderland", "The Angel and the Fool" and "The Remains of Rock and Roll". Additional musicians, respectively playing tenor saxophone, trombone and trumpet, were also recorded for the ninth track "No Matter What You're Told".[7]


The album cover for After the Disco, designed by Jacob Escobedo, was originally sketched by Escobedo during the early stages of the creative process for After the Disco. The initial sketches of the artwork, which reflects Psychedelic themes of the 1960s and 70s and synthetic Space art, originally inspired Mercer and Burton to take on elements of Retro-futurism in their work, which led to the band recording the album with instruments from the 60s/70s time period. James Mercer stated to Australian radio station Triple J:

"The guy who did the artwork for the first record, Jacob Escobedo, came up with that concept for the artwork [for this album], and in that moment we began talking about retro-futurism: so if you were to go back and look at the science fiction books released in the fifties and just how fascinating it is to see what people thought about the future. And for us, that kind of became like a theme. Brian's got all of this ancient gear - synthesisers from the time that synthesisers were being made - and they were incredibly futuristic at that time. And then as we got more into it ... the whole aesthetic started to evolve from there."[8]


After the Disco was officially unveiled by the band and Columbia Records on October 8, 2013,[9][10] after much media and fan speculation.[11] A teaser trailer for the album, sporting a January 2014 release date, was released the same day, featuring a snippet of the third track, "Holding On for Life".[12][13] The announcement of After the Disco was accompanied by a series of short films with the same title starring Kate Mara and Anton Yelchin.[14] The album itself was released on January 31, 2014, peaking at number 5 in the Billboard 200.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[16]
Alternative Press4/5 stars[17]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[20]
Slant Magazine2/5 stars[21]
USA Today3.5/4 stars[22]

Critical reception[edit]

At Alternative Press, Mike Usinger rated the album four stars out of five, and felt the album was "the perfect soundtrack for the morning after" a night out hurling it up.[17] Edna Gunderson of USA Today rated the album three-and-a-half stars out of four, writing that the band "raise their game" on the release "by simply delivering fatter hooks, juicier melodies, dreamier vocals and more of the dark shimmer that enveloped the duo's 2010 debut."[22] At Rolling Stone, Jon Dolan rated the album three-and-a-half stars out of five, stating that the release "is at once sleek and world-weary, often homing in on that sexy moment of malaise when the Seventies wanted to turn into the Eighties so badly but didn't quite know how to do it yet."[20] Kevin Liedel of Slant rated the album two out of five stars, cautioning that the album is a "yawner made by two artists whose impressive discography makes its failure that much more confounding."[21]

However, Lachlan Vass at gave After the Disco a less than favorable review, saying "Mercer’s delivery is generally good, Danger Mouse’s production is generally tight, but it just never crosses that threshold into greatness, despite a few glimmers of that potential. Too often though, these glimmers are drowned out by mediocrity. This record just feels like it should’ve been better than it is." Puluche gave the album a 62.5 out of 100.[23] Larry Fitzmaurice of Pitchfork echoed this sentiment, stating that "After the Disco is a more cohesive record, and that turns out to be the problem: Mercer and Burton's eccentricities have been sanded down to a single, flattened plane."[19]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by James Mercer and Brian Burton and produced by Burton.

1."Perfect World"6:24
2."After the Disco"3:39
3."Holding On for Life"3:56
4."Leave It Alone"5:30
5."The Changing Lights"3:48
7."Lazy Wonderland"3:21
9."No Matter What You're Told"3:50
10."The Angel and the Fool"3:15
11."The Remains of Rock and Roll"4:54
Total length:45:46


Adapted from After the Disco liner notes.[7]


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[24] 14
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[25] 31
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[26] 29
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[27] 56
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[28] 3
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[29] 22
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[30] 27
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[31] 47
French Albums (SNEP)[32] 74
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[33] 28
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[34] 31
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[35] 36
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[36] 99
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[37] 10
UK Albums (OCC)[38] 12
US Billboard 200[39] 5
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[40] 1
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[41] 1
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[42] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Position
US Top Rock Albums[43] 52
US Alternative Albums (Billboard)[44] 34

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Catalog no.
Germany January 31, 2014 CD[45] Columbia 88883 77161 2
Digital download[46] none
Vinyl[47] 88883 77161 1
United Kingdom February 3, 2014 CD 88883 77161 2
Digital download none
Vinyl 88883 77161 1
Australia February 4, 2014 Digital download none
United States CD[48] 88883 77161 2
Digital download[49] none
Vinyl[50] 88883 77161 1


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  2. ^ "After the Disco: Broken Bells". Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  3. ^ "Perfect World by Broken Bells". Spotify. Archived from the original on February 8, 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  4. ^ "Leave It Alone by Broken Bells". Spotify. Archived from the original on February 8, 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  5. ^ "Triple A > Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on April 9, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  6. ^ "James Mercer of The Shins - Interview in the Bing Lounge". YouTube. 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  7. ^ a b c After the Disco (liner notes). Broken Bells. Columbia Records. 2014.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ "James Mercer on new Broken Bells: "I LOVE the Bee Gees"". Triple J. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  9. ^ Young, Alex. "Broken Bells to release new album After the Disco in January". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  10. ^ "Danger Mouse and James Mercer's Broken Bells announce new album 'After The Disco'". NME. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  11. ^ Pelly, Jenn. "Watch: Broken Bells (The Shins' James Mercer and Danger Mouse) Announce New Album After the Disco". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  12. ^ Rutherford, Kevin. "Broken Bells Teases New Album, 'After the Disco'". Billboard. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  13. ^ Blistein, Jon. "Broken Bells Return With 'After the Disco'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  14. ^ "Broken Bells Present "After The Disco" | Part One: Angel and The Fool". YouTube. 2011-10-26. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  15. ^ "After the Disco". Retrieved 2014-09-22.
  16. ^ Phares, Heather. "After the Disco – Broken Bells". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  17. ^ a b Usinger, Mike (2014). "Broken Bells – After the Disco". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. February 2014 (307): 90. ISSN 1065-1667. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  18. ^ Nicolson, Barry (January 24, 2014). "Broken Bells - 'After the Disco'". NME. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  19. ^ a b Fitzmaurice, Larry (February 4, 2014). "Broken Bells: After the Disco". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved February 6, 2014.
  20. ^ a b Dolan, Jon (February 4, 2014). "Broken Bells 'After the Disco'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  21. ^ a b Liedel, Kevin (February 3, 2014). "Broken Bells: After the Disco | Music Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  22. ^ a b Gunderson, Edna (February 3, 2014). "Listen Up: Notable new releases". USA Today. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
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  25. ^ " – Broken Bells – After the Disco" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  26. ^ " – Broken Bells – After the Disco" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  27. ^ " – Broken Bells – After the Disco" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  28. ^ "Broken Bells Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard.
  29. ^ " – Broken Bells – After the Disco". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  30. ^ " – Broken Bells – After the Disco" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
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  37. ^ " – Broken Bells – After the Disco". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  38. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  39. ^ "Broken Bells Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  40. ^ "Broken Bells Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard.
  41. ^ "Broken Bells Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard.
  42. ^ "Broken Bells Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard.
  43. ^ "Top Rock Albums: Year End 2014". Billboard. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  44. ^ "Alternative Albums: 2014 Year-End Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 16 January 2015. (subscription required)
  45. ^ "After the Disco". Musik. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  46. ^ "After the Disco". MP3 Musik. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  47. ^ "After the Disco [Vinyl LP] [Vinyl LP] [Vinyl LP]". Musik. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  48. ^ "After the Disco". Music. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  49. ^ "After the Disco". MP3 Music. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  50. ^ "After the Disco (Vinyl)". Music. Retrieved 8 February 2014.

External links[edit]