Rome – Danger Mouse & Danielle Luppi

Danger Mouse is an interesting producer. I dig a lot of the stuff he’s been apart of, from producing great albums for Gorillaz and the Black Keys, to making some catchy, but undeniably good music with Cee Lo for Gnarls Barkley and with Sparklehorse for the Dark Night of Soul. However, he hasn’t always hit home runs. After the first few tracks, Broken Bells put me to sleep and while he did an excellent job on Brothers, the Black Keys’ Attack and Release just doesn’t cut it. So when I heard this thing took five years to make and that it’s inspired by music from Spaghetti Westerns, it sounded interesting. The involvement of Jack White helped that, since he’s been on a winning streak lately. Norah Jones made me skeptical though. That “Don’t Know Why” song annoys the hell out of me because it was over played like no other. So I didn’t know what to expect.

The album starts off with “Theme of Rome.” If Hollywood gets greedy and stupid enough to remake any old Clint Eastwood movies, after this, they’d probably commission these dudes to score it. The good flow of this album continues when White comes in on “The Rose with The Broken Neck.” The melodies are well done and the underlying choir helps add to the loner in the desert story that the lyrics speak of. As the album progress, it’s becomes a mixed album. It begins to suffer from the same problem that the Broken Bells record suffered. It starts off good, has a few mistakes, but doesn’t really seem to pick up steam past the first four tracks (not counting the interlude). There are a couple of high moments between that and the end, but I can’t listen to the record straight forward without wanting to pass out.

There are a couple of strong parts. The other tracks White guest on are definitely part of that mix. His lyrics and vocal melodies on “Two Against One” and “The World” are cool and help contribute to the old West/high noon imagery. I was even surprised by Jones. “Black” is alluring for her vocals alone and makes me wish she did more stuff like this than that Grammy-winning bullshit.”Season’s Trees” sounds pretty cool for a bit, but like some of the album’s instrumentals, it drags on and loses my attention.

The album loses me because it sounds like it doesn’t know whether to be a soundtrack or an actual album. I get that it’s inspired by old Western soundtracks, but it sounds like it can’t make up it’s mind sometimes and decides to drag on a melody. That and the interludes get a bit much. It also helps blur the line for me about the album-or-soundtrack issue. Maybe that doesn’t make sense but I don’t think I can properly explain that.

Overall, it’s not a bad effort, but for five years and the talent behind the album, it could have been a lot better. Once again, this is an album that I wanted to like a lot, but in the end, I could keep 6 tracks and clear the rest to save room on my iTunes. I really hope Danger Mouse isn’t losing his touch or repeats the same mistake over, but I guess only time will tell if I’m going to be sleeping through the next one.

Two Against One

Problem Queen

Comments
One Response to “Rome – Danger Mouse & Danielle Luppi”
  1. Joleyn says:

    This review is awesome!! but it doesn’t describe the story that the movie tells!

    This is the only interpretation of the story I can find:

    http://www.thetunemusic.com/2011/05/danger-mouse-danielle-luppi-rome-2011.html

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