New Music Review: Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi; ‘Rome’ [LISTEN]
It is very inspiring when anyone creates a work of art that is inspired by a passion or a dream. For quite some time, Danger Mouse has been talking here and there about working on an Italian film score-inspired project; it has finally come to fruition with the album Rome.
Along with composer Daniele Luppi, Danger Mouse was able to book a studio in Rome that was co-founded by Ennio Morricone, one of the most prolific composers of his time. Luppi is not the only familiar name attached to this dream project. Jack White and Norah Jones have cameos on this bundle of poignant instrumentals.
The album opens with “Theme of Rome” that provides us with guitar sounds reminiscent of something out of El Mariachi, marching band-esque drums, and the sultry vocals of the 76-year-old Ella Dell’Orso, whom can also be heard on the soundtrack of the Clint Eastwood classic The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. After hearing this track, it reminded me of a spaghetti-western version of Clare Torry’s wordless vocals in Pink Floyd’s “The Great Gig in the Sky” so I instantly fell in love.
Rome is just as much a soundtrack to a movie that hasn’t been made yet as it is a composition of instrumental style and grace. Danger and Daniele manage to fuse old style with new sound to create a haunting compilation of organs, harpsichords, strings, wah guitar pedals and vocal harmonies that reverberate through this entire musical feast. In a matter of fifteen songs, we cross paths with three interludes and seven tracks of instrumentals and vocal melodies. However, when we hear the ethereal vocals of Jack White or the languid and seductive soul of Norah Jones, the album takes on a whole new dimension. Although we are only graced with their presence on a few tracks of the album, “Two Against One” and “Season’s Trees” are bound for greatness.
Would I have enjoyed a little more Jack White on this album? Of course. But then again, my bias gets in the way because I’m still upset about The White Stripes breaking up so all I want is more Jack White. That being said, there is still an undeniable work of art mixed into all of this that even non-White Stripes fans can appreciate. Maybe this will be the start of your new Jack White obsession and once you get through The White Stripes discography, then move along to The Raconteurs, and end up with The Dead Weather vinyl sitting in your lap three months from now, you’ll thank me for introducing you to one of the most creative musicians of the past twenty years.
But maybe not. Whether Jack White is a genius or not isn’t really the discussion here but rather Danger’s track record of muddling sounds together to form a decadent cocktail of auditory brilliance. Although this is unlike anything he has worked on in this past, Rome certainly showcases his eclectic abilities in the studio and I definitely recommend picking this up…on vinyl of course.
READ: More Faster Music Reviews:
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