5.16.2011

When in Rome...




Danger Mouse has given people enough reasons to take notice when he puts out new material – but this time he’s tossin’ in a few dollars more.  




That was sad, but a segue nonetheless.  As a teenager, Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns were my intro into Westerns.  I still love them -- and I'm still amazed at the evidence that "remake" does not have to equate "piece of shit."  But to the point, Ennio Morricone’s infamous score for those movies is etched into my brain – as with many other people. Here's the most memorable of the themes from the trilogy to either remind or introduce you:



So when I heard about Danger Mouse’s Rome, I was confused, intrigued, nostalgic, doubtful, hopeful – and a little a hungry.  I mean, what current successful musician and sought-after music producer would think of creating an album inspired by Morricone’s score to the Leone western trilogy?  No one but Danger Mouse, apparently.  The idiosyncrasy, the daring, the bizarre conceptuality of it – it’s all very appealing and precarious.  Add in Jack White and Norah Jones and you get a brand new perplexing layer that does seem to add some cohesion and character to the album.  It’s very much a mad genre experiment.

Some wonder if this is a calling card to the movie industry as per Danger Mouse’s skills as a composer, some think it’s just an indulgent pet project taking advantage of his growing cache.   I’m kind of in the “who cares, just gimme” camp.  The album is enormously beguiling.  I’m not even sure how much I’ll like its entirety.  But pieces of it are pretty great and it’s hard not to get taken in by the atmosphere that drifts from these tracks.  

It's worth checking out, whether you come at it from a music or cinematic direction. 


Ps.  Here’s the intro “theme” track:

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