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Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi conquer Rome, with Jack White in tow

April 19, 2011 |  1:57 pm

Rome452_1 Danger Mouse may take his name from an animated rodent, but his track record of collaborations suggests he's closer to Voltron.

Over the last decade, the producer born Brian Burton has worked with everyone from underground rappers such as Gemini and MF Doom to indie icons Sparklehorse and James Mercer (the Shins), to cartoon band Gorillaz, to dirty bluesmen the Black Keys.

Predicting the artistic trajectory of the man behind the Grey Album is futile; he's constantly reforming and refracting expectations. Of course, his latest project with Italian composer Daniele Luppi has been subject to a five-year engagement -- with the last six months bearing promises of futuristic spaghetti western fusion featuring Jack White. And over the last few weeks, the vows have finally begun to be uttered.

Available for streaming at Consequence of Sound, the latest leak from the project (due May 17 on Capitol Records) finds Nashville's newest son crooning over the violently titled "The Rose With a Broken Neck." DM and Luppi craft a twinkling slate of frail psychedelia -- the sort of thing you'd expect to play in the swank rooftop restaurant of the finest hotel in Rome (if such a thing existed).

White seems to have abandoned his Stripes to free himself up for unorthodox unions such as this. Letting his hellhound yowl drip all over the track, it successfully conjures the sense of lovelorn nostalgia that they all seem to aspire to. At least, that's the sense you could gather from the other leak, the White-aided "Two Against One." Splitting the difference between the blues and vintage Italian film soundtracks, White snarls about how he "keeps his enemies closer than my mirror ever gets to me."

For those already missing the White Stripes, it's an ideal melding: hard-nosed swagger balanced with a little sadness. Ideal tunes for the Eternal City.

-- Jeff Weiss

Photo: Danger Mouse, Daniele Luppi & Co.; Credit: Press Stock Photo