A 'Dark Night' for Danger Mouse

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Danger Mouse’s latest project with Sparklehorse may well be the best album of the year with its dark, ethereal tone and brilliant contributions by guest vocalists as diverse as The Flaming Lips, Iggy Pop and Suzanne Vega, but an official release may never happen due to an undisclosed legal dispute with EMI.

Right now, Dark Night of the Soul is scheduled to be released as a blank CD-R packaged with a book of photographs by the eccentric filmmaker, David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Fire Walk with Me). Danger Mouse’s representative said the CD-R will be labeled, “For legal reasons, CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.”

Despite an official release through fear of being sued by EMI, the artists are encouraging fans to acquire the music by any means available because, according to the album website, “Danger Mouse remains hugely proud of Dark Night of the Soul and hopes that people lucky enough to hear the music, by whatever means, are as excited by it as he is.”

Though the statement may come across as a cringe-worthy arrogance, my skepticism faded quickly after the initial listen. This album is worth the hype.

Of particular note are the tracks “Revenge” with The Flaming Lips, “Angel’s Harp” with Frank Black (of The Pixies) and “Everytime I’m with You” with Jason Lytle (formerly of Grandaddy).

“Revenge,” the opening track, sinks the listener into a beautiful melancholy reminiscent of early '90s 4ad bands, while “Angel’s Harp” takes an industrial, gritty guitar sound with plenty of distortion which coupled with Black’s vocals and elements of electronica results in sheer genius.

“Everytime I’m with You” evokes all the right feelings of an exemplary psychedelic-electronic haze similar to Air. The album is only available legally through NPR’s “Exclusive First Listen” series, where it is currently streaming in its entirety. NPR music producer, Robin Hilton told Billboard.Com the stream’s expiration date is “up in the air” for now. Music geeks should listen legally while they can; in the meantime, I will be anxiously waiting to spend a ridiculous amount of money on Lynch’s visual interpretations of the songs.

You can check it out here.

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