22 July, 2011@4:45 pm
Uber-producer DJ Danger Mouse has come a long way since his early days as a foward-thinking mixtape DJ. Since his explosion in popularity that began with The Grey Album, DM has made a name for himself by producing for a multitude of A-List talent, including Cee-Lo Green, The Black Keys, Gorillaz, MF Doom, Beck, and others, with a rumored U2 album in works. To say the least, our man has come a long way.
But going back to those early, pre-Grey Album mixtape releases, DM had a fascination with laid back groups like Portishead and Zero 7, both of which built their sound from spaghetti western samples and atmospheric backdrops. For his latest project, Rome, Danger Mouse teams with Italian film soundtrack composer Daniele Luppi, to craft an album that pays homage to that lost, classic sound.
While much of the album is instrumental, as an added bonus we get vocals from Norah Jones and White Stripes frontman, Jack White. The album exudes greatness with it’s cinematic instrumental sound on songs like “Roman Blue” and “The Gambling Priest”, but the addition of these two comes as a welcome surprise. “The Rose With A Broken Neck”, “Two Against One”, and “The World” find White a bit outside of his element, trading his usual dirty, sparse rock sound for super-chill, while Norah seduces with her breathy vocals on “Season’s Trees”, “Problem Queen”, and “Black”.
If critics can blast this album for anything, it might be argued that this is ground already well covered by Zero 7, or that album’s unified sound makes certain tracks bleed into one another. We’ll plead the case that Danger Mouse has instead resurrected a lost sound and created an incredibly dope album in the process.
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