Friday, May 13, 2011

When in Rome

Change is good. And when you're the acclaimed producer Danger Mouse, the mastermind behind Broken Bells and Gnarls Barkley, and Jack White, behind the recently disbanded legendary rockers The White Stripes - change is practically your middle name. These guys are individually capable of just about anything. So, throw in Italian producer Daniele Luppi and Norah Jones, and we're got ourselves a cool kind of new, and a weird little party of popular music genius.

Danger Mouse's nearly released album Rome is like a trippy, slow-motion stroll through an empty Western town. Listen to the collection of dark and spacey indie jams which star Jones and Black's sexy narrative, and you'll feel like I did - as if you're walking by saloon doors slamming in the wind, a tumbleweed skipping down the dusty road and abandoned wagon wheels. This creepy but endearing album is held up by atmospheric instrumental tracks as well as spooky vocal spotlights shared by Norah Jones and her jazzy rasp and Jack White's (clean, clear and impressive) sultry howls. To hear Jones' best, check out "Season's Trees" and "Black", where her sexy smooth voice cascades over strings, jazz guitar and the bump of the bass. To hear the wonderful whine of Black, make sure to listen to the eerie "Two Against One"  (below) and its Adams Family-esque picking guitar, and "The World", a flurry of whirling keyboard, country guitar and marching drum. A perfect end to close out the final duel and the oddly enjoyable, chilled out and gloomy Western known as Rome. Look for it in stores on May 17th.

Even the cover artwork looks like the songs sound.

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