Showing posts with label Norah Jones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Norah Jones. Show all posts

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Five Most Anticipated Albums of Spring 2020

The movie business is being upended by the global pandemic but the music business is just humming along after pretty much converting to digital last decade. There are some major releases that do not even get physical releases now. Amazon said they would not be storing any CD's or vinyl records in their warhouses to save space for essiental product and that was met mostly with a shrug. I was a little surprised that Alicia Keys delayed her album that was supposed to come out last week for two months, just days after announcing it was coming at all. No one really knows how long we will be stuck inside, but there actually is a bunch of noteworthy albums coming out this spring to keep us entertained until the quarantine is listed. I am certainly not renting The Hunt for twenty bucks, that is like three and a half months of Hulu. Here are the ones I am most looking for:

1. Gaslighter - Dixie Chicks (My 1): Has it really been fourteen years since the last Dixie Chicks album? I guess it does not seem that long because Natalie Maines released a solo album while Emily Robison and Martie Maguire released two albums under the name Court Yard Hounds in between. The title track lead single makes it sound like they have not skipped a beat and are just as angry as they were during the Bush era. And to think, most people actually miss the Bush era compared with what is going on now.

2. Women In Music Pt.III - Haim (April 24): Ha, WiMP III. Clever title. Haim sprinkled three quality single across 2019 and those are finally culminating with their third album. Okay, the fourth song that was released with the album announcement was the weakest, but I am still looking forward to it.

3. Gigaton - Pearl Jam (This Week): Well that was a weird first single. Maybe we should have guessed end times were upon us when Pearl Jam released a song with a dance-able bass-line. While they will likely never reach the heights of those first three classic albums, late period Pearl Jam has been pretty solid.

4. Pick Me Off the Floor - Norah Jones (May 8): Thanks to that massive first (and technically only) hit, Norah Jones has has the luxury of doing pretty much what ever she wants since. This time around she worked with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and if it is like past collaborations, it should end up being pretty good.

5. Fetch the Bolt Cutters - Fiona Apple (TBD): Not quite Dixie Chicks long but it has been way took long Fiona Apple has released an album. Nothing is know but the title, based on a television quote of all things (but still not as weird as when she wrote poem length album titles) but just the thought of an album from Fiona will at very least put her on the list.

Here is everything else that is at least worth a spin on Spotify:

Last Week
After Hours - The Weeknd
3.15.20 - Childish Gambino

Local Honey - Brian Fallon
Love Is An Art - Vanessa Carlton
Stain Cloud - Waxahatchie
Aporia - Sufjan Stevens
Walking Proof - Lilly Hiatt
Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version (25th Anniversary Digital Deluxe Edition) - Ol' Dirty Bastard

April 3
Migration Stories - M. Ward
The Mike & Micky Show Live - The Monkees
Born to Sing: 30th Anniversary Expanded Edition - En Vogue

April 10
The Way it Feels - Maddie and Tae
LIFERS - Local H

April 17
Italian Ice - Nicole Atkins
One World - Billy Ocean
The Rainbow Children (Reissue) - Prince
One Night alone... (Reissue) - Prince

April 24
Notes On A Conditional Form - The 1975
Three. Two. One. - Lennon Stella
First Rose Of Spring - Willie Nelson
MTV Unplugged Live at Hull City Hall - Liam Gallagher

May 1
Hate For Sale - The Pretenders

May 8
Petals for armor - Hayley Williams
Recover - The Naked and Famous
That’s How Rumors Get Started - Margo Price

May 15
Alicia - Alicia Keys
Reunions - Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Van Weezer - Weezer

May 29
Imploding The Mirage - The Killers

June 5
What's Your Pleasure - Jessie Ware
Surface Sounds - KALEO

June 12
Canyons - Gone West

Brother Sister - Watkins Family Hour
Ariana Grande
Daryl Hall and John Oats
The Cure

Of course this could be the quarter Dr. Dre releases Detox.

Monday, August 22, 2016

I want My Music Television: 8/22/16

Carry On - Norah Jones

Much like The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Grateful Dead before her, Norah Jones is a by the strictest definition is a One Hit Wonder though no one would call her that (unlike Vanilla Ice who many consider one despite two top five hits). And though most know her mostly for her sleepy debut single, Jones was one of the rare artist who got better with time, as her one hit gave her the cashe to get more adventurous with her future albums. Her fifth album The Fall was her best and the album featured Happy Pills which was number one on my list of The 100 Best Songs of 2012. But for her sixth album, it sounds like she may be going back to her sleepy sound of her debut.

Hardwired – Metallica

Rock was dying when Metallica last released an album eight years ago. So does the world really need a Metallica double album in 2016 (triple if you get the deluxe edition)? Probably not, it certainly will not resurrect the genre much like the latest Red Hot Chili Peppers album who battled Metallica for biggest band in the world almost twenty-five years ago. But I do kind of like the first single. It reminds me of just a super-fast (barely three minutes) almost poppy version of heavy metal like Fuel.

Nikes – Frank Ocean

One of the few bright spots in the music industry recently is that people are not illegally downloading music anymore because of streaming; why illegally download music that will take up hard drive space when almost every song every recorded is a quick search away? Even paying the couple dollars a month is enticing. Except we are now in the start of music streaming wars where Tidal and Apple are in an arms race for exclusives (Spotify does not seem to care; neither YouTube because they know everything will be uploaded there eventually). So expect illegally to boost again as more album exclusives become the norm (unless people just stop caring about music) because I doubt there are too many people willing to subscribe to every streaming service out there. So I have not heard the new Frank Ocean album yet because it is an Apple exclusive. And based on the weird first music video he released, I may not be missing out on much aside from some pretentious journalist over-praising it like they did his first album.

Heartlines - Broods

A couple weeks ago I decried the lack of new artist in the last couple years when talking about Banks who had one of the few good debut albums of the past three years. Broods is the only other artist who put out a debut album recently that I actually liked, but much like Banks new song I was pretty meh on Broods sophomore album, granted Heartlines was one of the few songs on the second album that stood out. And if that drunk Tinkerbell in the video? I miss drunk Tinkerbell, she was the only good part of the dreadful Neverland season of Once Upon a Time.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The 100 Best Songs of 2012

1. Happy Pills - Norah Jones

2. Don't Leave Me (Ne me quitte pas) - Regina Spektor

3. Ho Hey - The Lumineers

4. Little Black Submarines - The Black Keys

5. Somebody That I Used to Know - Gotye featuring Kimbra

6. "45" - The Gaslight Anthem

7. Thinkin Bout You - Frank Ocean

8. Little Talks - Of Monsters And Men

9. Stars - Grace Potter and The Nocturnals

10. Safe and Sound - Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars

11. Everybody Talks - Neon Trees

12. No Church in the Wild - Jay-Z and Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean

13. Warrior – Kimbra, A-Trak, and Mark Foster

14. Stubborn Love - The Lumineers

15. I Will Wait - Mumford and Sons

16. Bottom of the River - Delta Rae

17. Tongue Tied - Grouplove

18. We Are Young - Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe

19. The Baddest Man Alive - The Black Keys featuring RZA

20. Mercy.1 - Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz

21. Ain't Messin 'Round - Gary Clark Jr.

22. Get Burned - Sleeper Agent

23. If Only - Dave Matthews Band

24. The Devil Takes Care of His Own - Band Of Skulls

25. Live and Die - The Avett Brothers

26. Adorn - Miguel

27. Leave the Lights On - Meiko

28. Roll Me Up - Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson

29. Emmylou - First Aid Kit

30. Hold On - Alabama Shakes

31. The Don - Nas

32. Begin Again - Taylor Swift

33. Oh Love - Green Day

34. Brendan's Death Song - Red Hot Chili Peppers

35. Brand New Me - Alicia Keys

36. Stuck On You - Meiko

37. Sweet Life - Frank Ocean

38. Sense - Amanda Mair

39. Duquesne Whistle - Bob Dylan

40. Princess of China - Coldplay and Rihanna

41. Every Single Night - Fiona Apple

42. Man On Fire - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

43. Settle Down - Kimbra

44. The Day You Die - Lindi Ortega

45. Pyramids - Frank Ocean

46. Handwritten - The Gaslight Anthem

47. Gold On the Ceiling - The Black Keys

48. Modern Love - Matt Nathanson

49. Some Nights - Fun.

50. Heaven - Emeli Sandé

51. Walk Away - Dia Frampton

52. Girl On Fire - Alicia Keys

53. Runaways - The Killers

54. How - Regina Spektor

55. Even If It Breaks Your Heart - Eli Young Band

56. Gimme a Kiss - Madi Diaz

57. Never Go Back - Grace Potter and The Nocturnals

58. Home Again - Michael Kiwanuka

59. Let Yourself Go - Green Day

60. Run Away - Sarah Jarosz

61. Too Close - Alex Clare

62. Queen of California - John Mayer

63. Ships in the Night - Mat Kearney

64. Mercy - Dave Matthews Band

65. Let's Go - Madi Diaz

66. Simple Song - The Shins

67. Shadow Days - John Mayer

68. Favorite Song - Colbie Caillat featuring Common

69. When I Was Young - Nada Surf

70. Payphone - Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa

71. Hurts Like Heaven - Coldplay

72. All the Rowboats - Regina Spektor

73. Ruin - Cat Power

74. Free - Graffiti6

75. Lover of the Light - Mumford and Sons

76. The House That Heaven Built - Japandroids

77. Concrete Wall - Zee Avi

78. Good Intent - Kimbra

79. Burn it Down - Linkin Park

80. The Lion's Roar - First Aid Kit

81. Eyes Open - Taylor Swift

82. Nothing's Real But Love - Rebecca Ferguson

83. Blue - First Aid Kit

84. Stay - Sara Bareilles

85. Anna Sun - Walk the Moon

86. The a Team - Ed Sheeran

87. Runaway - Grace Potter and The Nocturnals

88. Heartbeat - JJAMZ

89. No Light, No Light - Florence + the Machine

90. Locked Out of Heaven - Bruno Mars

91. Goodbye In Her Eyes - Zac Brown Band

92. Good Girl - Carrie Underwood

93. Sweeter - Gavin DeGraw

94. House - Amanda Mair

95. Here Comes My Man - The Gaslight Anthem

96. Charlie Brown - Coldplay

97. Chains of Love - Ryan Adams

98. Cherokee - Cat Power

99. Ray Charles - Chiddy Bang

100. Hurry Hurry - Jessie Baylin

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Best of the Week - 10/27/12

Quote of the Week: I’ll tell you what doesn’t count: the Miami Heat’s most recent NBA championship. It was an injury-plagued, strike-shortened season. Therefore LeBron still needs six rings to even get into a conversation with Jordan. Also Chris Bosh looks like one of Omar’s boyfriends from The Wire. (Jane, Happy Endings)

Song of the Week: Dust In the Wind – Kansas (as sung by Ryan and Steven, Go On)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Fish Slapped!: Forget bayonets, God sanctioned rapes or how John Sununu is racist simple and plain (mutherfrack him and John Wayne), the most important thing that happened this week were all the people that got slapped by a fish. On Tuesday The Black Keys and RZA released a music video to see who is The Baddest Man Alive, the Keys may have some mad lettuce tossing skills, but RZA clearly was after slapping Dan Auerbach in the head with a fish. And just when you thought you had your quota of fish slapping this week, the very next day it showed up on The Challenge where, after a couple rounds of truly bizarre events, TJ Lavin saved the best event for last when two people had to joust each other, but instead a padded lance, they had to knock each other using nothing but a fish. Awesome. Let’s face it, the last presidential debate would have been much more interesting is instead of fighting over bayonets, the two candidates fought with fish.

Preview Picture of the Week:

Free Download of the Week: Fall Sampler – Dr. Dog (Noise Trade)

Deal of the Week: Every Norah Jones Album for $5.00

New Album Release of the Week: Cee Lo's Magic Moment - Cee-Lo Green

New DVD Release of the Week: Chuck: The Complete Series - Collector Set

Video of the Week: I loved Army of Darkness and quickly also picked up the first two Evil Dead movies (sure it is a bit weird to watch the third movie first), but like every reboot, I really had no desire for a reimagining of the film. On the bright side, both Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell are signed on for the reboot. On the other side, Sam is not directing and Bruce is not acting in it (unless when he said he was going to show up as the milkman was not a joke). Now we have the first look at the movie and holy crap it is scary. It even gives plenty of throwbacks to the original: point of view evil running through the wood, the Necronomicon, self arm amputation, a chainsaw, tree rape. They even throw in a new tongue cutting scene for fun. I am still on the fence for an Evil Dead reboot, but I am kind of excited for the thought that this could lead to a potential Tessa Altman vs. the Army of Darkness movie.

Next Week Pick of the Week: The Voice, Monday and Tuesday at 8:00 on NBC: Big changes on The Voice this season as they expanded the teams from twelve to sixteen (twice as many as the first season) which meant adding another obstacle to the Lice Shows: The Knockout Round. Like moths rules on The Voice little was about the Knockout Rounds but from the look at the promo it looks eerily similar to the Battle Rounds except instead of the coach picking a song the two sing together, two contestants will sing songs of their own choosing (that can be cleared) with one being declared the winner with five from each moving on to the Live Shows. The Knockout Rounds will all air over two nights (Tuesday is being expanded to two hours), and with forty performances scheduled, I am expecting a lot of montage advances considering they only crammed three battles or five auditions per hour previously. I doubt they will cram in ten full performances per hour in the knockouts because they will still have to set aside some time to remind us that MacKenzie almost died and Adriana was part of a home invasion. If I were a betting man these are the people I would put money on advancing to the Live Shows (please note these are not the people I think should advance; you can wait until Monday’s Power Ranking to see who I think should):

Team Adam: Bryan Keith, Melanie Martinez, Nicole Nelson, Joselyn Rivera, Kayla Nevarez
Team Blake: Cassadee Pope, Terry McDermott, Suzanna Choffel, Gracia Harrison, and Liz Davis
Team Cee-Lo: Trevin Hunte, Avery Wilson, MacKenzie Bourge, Nicholas David, Caitlin Michelle
Team Chritina: Adriana Louis, Devyn Deloera, De’Borah, Aquile, Dez Duron

Monday, August 06, 2012

I Want My Music Television - 8/6/12

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Miriam - Norah Jones

Norah Jones continues her path of destruction with what looks to be a sequel (prequel possibly) to her Happy Pill video. Hopefully the trilogy ends better than Spider-Man 3.

Queen of California - John Mayer

I am always a fan of one take music videos (okay, there are a couple obvious cuts here) and it looks like John Mayer is continuing his mountain recluse look at least on screen because after disappearing to the plains of Montana the last couple years after being humiliated because of his high profile relationships, he was quick to be seen with the recently single Katy Perry just a month after his album was released. I wonder what Vegas has for the Over/Under of a Playboy style interview.

Blown Away - Carrie Underwood

You may think to yourself that you may not need a artsy black and white dramatic turn from Carrie Underwood, and after watching this video, you will probably be right. C’mon, if you are going to go back between black and white and color featuring a twister, just go full The Wizard of Oz.

My Oh My - Tristan Prettyman>

I liked the folksy vibe of her first two album making Tristan Prettyman a female Jack Johnson. With that background it is a little weird to see her dancing around in the first video from her upcoming album.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

You Tried to Replace Me but You Didn’t Get Far

Little Broken Hearts - Norah Jones

Nothing perks up my ears these days than “produced by Danger Mouse.” In a decade behind the boards he has moved into rarified air of must hear producers like Rick Rubin. And much like Rubin who go seamlessly between rap, metal and folk, Danger Mouse (government: Brian Burton) has worked from people as wide ranging as cartoon Gorillaz, blues rockers The Black Keys, and his groups with Cee-Lo Green and James Mercer. Then on his spaghetti western soundtrack to a movie that was never made that he made with Daniele Luppi Burton made his most unlike collaboration yet: Norah Jones.

Yes Norah Jones, the jazzy-pop artist that every soccer mom in America played over and over again in their minivans a decade ago when she released Don’t Know Why. But in the ten years since, Norah has gotten more and more adventurous with the tracks she applies her silky vocals to culminating in her previous best album The Fall released back in 2009. Then Danger Mouse recruited her to appear on his Rome which ended up being the three standout tracks on the album. The soccer moms who still have not removed Come Away with Me from their minvans may scratch their heads at the pairing, wondering why Norah Jones is working with the weird dude who was in a group with the even weirder Cee-Lo, but to those of us that continued to follow her career, the pairing is a perfect (or dare I say Perrrfect) match.

With Danger Mouse behind the board, the new Norah Jones album Little Broken Hearts sounds like a continuation of their work together on Rome as they both have a darker, more menacing feel than previous works by Jones. She even kills the title character in Miriam, but does it so smoothly you may not even realize it unless you read the lyrics sheet. Take It Back sound very similar to the Rome song Black when it hits its crescendo at the end with the same style of piano notes. And if I didn’t know better I would have guessed Burton brought in his buddy Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys to play guitar on the trippy blues song All a Dream.

If the title album Little Broken Hearts did not tip you off (or other song titles like Say Goodbye, She’s 22, After the Fall, 4 Broken Hearts, or Travelin’ On) this is her break up album. Thankfully there are no angry kiss off songs like Since U Been Gone as it sounds by the time Jones got around to writing the album she had since moved on to the fifth stage of grief (Reconstruction and working through) and most of the album is her getting all the way up to the seventh and final stage (Acceptance and hope).

As moody and mellow as the album is, it is a bit jarring when she picks up the tempo for Out on the Road nine songs into the album. But that does set things up for the stand out track, the bouncy and snarky Happy Pills (which it what Norah claims she felt as she just took after the break up because she feels so good). The “Out I’m gonna get you, out I’m gonna get you outta of my head, get out” chorus may be the catchiest kiss off since I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair. As Brian Burton ranks up new bands, hopefully Little Broken Hearts is the first of many collaborations with Norah Jones.

Song to Download – Happy Pills

Broken Little Hearts gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, April 09, 2012

I Want My Music Television - 4/9/12

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Happy Pills – Norah Jones

You just knew when you heard the latest song from Norah Jones that the video would feature murdering some dude. I also like that te video featured Norah in the shower (and not just for the obvious reason) because when I first heard the song, “out, I’m gonna get you out…” made me think Happy Pills is the twenty-first century version of I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair.

Blood for Poppies - Garbage

It has been bout a decade since Garbage released any new material and for the first single back, it sounds like they never left with them still making dirty pop records. Although am not totally convinced that Shirley wasn’t hermetically sealed in-between albums because she hasn’t aged a day.

Sixteen Saltines - Jack White

The newest Jack White music video features a dude eaching a penut butter and jelly sandwich of trhe ceiling and it does not even crack the top ten weirdest thing that happens in the video. Seriously.

Let's Roll - Yelawolf and Kid Rock

Didn’t Bubba Sparxxx try the hillbilly rap a decade ago and was met with a resounding yawn? I am not sure I will picking up too many Yelawolf stock.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Five Most Anticipated Albums of Spring 2012

A pretty slow week for music releases (unless you’re a fan of the 90’s: Wilson Philips! Candlebox!!) and where spring has become a wasteland for new music ever since the major labels pushed 90% of major releases to the weeks before Christmas, there is a surprising glut of great music coming in the next couple weeks, here are the top five album I am must looking forward to in the next couple months.

1. …Little Broken HeartsNorah Jones (May 1): Sure the spaghetti western soundtrack album Danger Mouse released last year was a bit of a letdown, but the three standout tracks all utilized the vocal talents of Norah Jones (sorry Jack White). The duo is back together for a new album, but unlike Danger’s previous duets with Cee-Lo and the dude from The Shins, no new band name instead the album is being released under Jones’s name. Despite the darkness of Rome’s tracks, the first single from …Little Broken Hearts is the bouncy break up song Happy Pills. And looking at other track names (Say Goodbye, Travlin’ On) we will be getting a full on break up album.

2. Born and RaisedJohn Mayer (May 22): Let’s get out of the way first: Mayer’s last album sucked massively because nobody wants to hear a concept album about dating and breaking up with Rachel Green. In the three year since the album his stupid mouth has gotten him much more publicity than his music but has been relatively quiet since starting recording the album, which may just be because of a lingering throat problem, but the first single Shadow Days suggest that he is truly sorry for saying things like how his genitalia is racist. I just hope the album is more on par with his first three.

3. What We Saw from the Cheap SeatsRegina Spektor (May 29): The first song off the new album from Spektor, All the Rowboats, sound darker than anything she has done before. This could be thanks to producer Mike Elizondo who is most famous for working with Dr. Dre but also produced that last album from fellow pianist Fiona Apple. But the second single, Don’t Leave Me does fit much better into her back catalogue, most because it is actually a new version of a song she released a decade ago.

4. BlunderbussJack White (April 24): Now that he has stated no more new bands, Jack White is now on his own, but I get the sense we will still get the blues-pop-rock through a weird filter that we have come to love from the guitarist.

5. The Idler is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever doFiona Apple (June): Much like her last album, Fiona’s new album has been sitting on the shelf for a while but will supposedly get a June release, though no specific date gives me pause that we will actually get to hear the album before then. Unless, of course, you caught her nine date tour last month where she unveiled some new song (I avoided listening to them because I do not like to judge songs based on a crappy YouTube recording). (Scooter Update: It seems like whenever I create one of these music preview lists, inevitably that day a major release gets announced and today was no difference as just an hour after I published this post, Fiona Apple wrote on her Facebook page that her album got an official release date: June 26 along with the cover art. No presale on Amazon as I write this update.)

And here are some other notable releases. Click on the album title to preorder on Amazon or the artist name to be taken to their iTunes page.

DedicatedWilson Phillips
My Head Is an AnimalOf Monsters and Men
Bottoms UpObie Trice
Love Stories & Other Musings - Candlebox

April 10
Underwater Sunshine (or what we did on our summer vacation)Counting Crows
Boys & GirlsAlabama Shakes
SlipstreamBonnie Raitt
MTV UnpluggedFlorence + The Machine
A Wasteland CompanionM. Ward
New LifeMonica
Scars On 45Scars On 45

April 17
Love Is a Four Letter WordJason Mraz
Picture ShowNeon Trees
California 37Train
I Missed Us - SWV
Moving Up Living DownEric Hutchinson

April 24
Speak in CodeEve 6
This MachineThe Dandy Warhols
LandlineGreg Laswell

May 1
Blown AwayCarrie Underwood
Master of My Make-BelieveSantigold
Strange CloudsB.o.B

May 8
After Hours – Glenn Frey
After HoursSilversun Pickups

May 15
Not Your Kind Of PeopleGarbage
HeroesWillie Nelson
Rize Of The FenixTenacious D
The Only PlaceBest Coast
BloomBeach House
Welcome To: Our House - Slaughterhouse

May 22
Apocalyptic Love - Slash

May 29
Here – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

June 5
AmericanaNeil Young & Crazy Horse

June 12
The Bravest Man in the World – Bobby Womack
Sythetica – Metric

June 19
Cherry ThingNeneh Cherry

June 26
Overexposed – Maroon 5

Handwritten – The Gaslight Anthem
The Diving Board – Elton John
Life Is Good – Nas
The Lion the Beast the Best – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Lollipops and Politics – V.V. Brown
Write Me Back – R. Kelly
Undisputed – DMX
Songs of Accent - U2
Mumford & Sons
The Avett Brothers
The Beach Boys
Bob Seger
Diane Birch
Pearl Jam
Green Day
Linkin Park
Taylor Swift
Wu-Tang Clan
The Offspring

And of course let’s not forget the obligatory this may be the quarter we finally get to hear Dr. Dre’s Detox.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Mirror Is a Trigger and Your Mouth’s a Gun

Rome - Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi featuring Jack White and Norah Jones

Danger Mouse has an amazing track record making experimental pop music. He arguably brought mash-ups to the masses with The Grey Album (which landed in at number six on my list of The 100 Greatest Albums of the 00’s). Went on to produce music ranging from Gorillaz to The Black Keys. Then teamed up with Cee Lo Green to create the Greatest Song of the 00’s and most recently released an album with James Mercer of the Shins.

His latest work may be his most ambitious. Rome is a collaboration with Italian composer Daniele Luppi, with vocals contributed by Jack White and Norah Jones which is inspired by music from spaghetti westerns. If sounding like the soundtrack to a spaghetti western was their goal, the certainly achieved it with haunting strings and choral arrangements seen through the spectrum of Danger Mouse’s weird pop sensibilities. But therein lies the problem with Rome: it sounds like a movie score and movie scores really only work with the accompanying visuals of the movie. The instrumentals by themselves are a bit of a bore.

The album is salvaged by the vocals with Jack White and Norah Jones getting three songs each and bother were an inspired choice. There is no other voice you can imagine than White’s on Two Against One where Jack brings a much needed bravado to the song. You can just picture him in a cowboy hat singing the song to an old-time mirror in an actual western.

But Jones is the standout as she goes into full cabaret mode for Season’s Tree and Black getting sultrier than of the songs off her albums to the point you will hope that she makes a full record featuring this persona she created for Rome. Yet mostly after listening to Rome, you will wish that Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi had released an accompanying short film because most of the album is just missing something that will make you listen to it multiple times.

Songs to Download – Black

Rome gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Score.