Monday, October 25, 2010

Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse - Dark Night of the Soul


Mmph.  I really thought I was going to love this, given my previous delight at anything Dangermousy in the world.  I'll admit the songs are prettily composed and well played and everything, but it just didn't grab me.

I'd recommend it for dinner party music, though - there's lots of inoffensive melodies beautifully done.  I just didn't find it compelling.

VERDICT: TURN IT DOWN and pass the hors d'oeuvres 


It seems as though anything Brian Burton, aka Dangermouse, touches has an undeniable appeal to me.  His work with everyone from Damon Albarn, Beck and The Black Keys have become firm favourites.  Then he teamed up with Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous and an eclectic roster of singers and contributors, including film producer David Lynch.

The opening track Revenge, featuring the beautifully strained vocals of Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, sets a great benchmark for the rest of the album but only for the first three tracks.  It leads a trio of gorgeous alt-pop before changing gears with Julian Casablancas taking the lead in Little Girl, a bouncing dubby track complete with bass drops.

The following two tracks, the chugging Angel's Harp featuring Black Francis and Pain with vocals by somewhat subdued Mr Iggy Pop, add the rock quotient to the track listing.  After what could only be described as a Lynchian hommage to the psychedelic pop of everyone from The Beatles and Beach Boys to the Lips in Star Eyes (I Can't Catch It), is my favourite track of the album, Everytime I'm With You, voiced by Jason Lytle, formerly of Grandaddy.

However, I can't help feeling a sense of loss.  The death of Linkous prior to its release was a tragic blow.  If only as a testament to his abilities, Dark Night Of The Soul is as fine a document as any.  Vale Sparklehorse...


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