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Album review: Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi's 'Rome'

May 16, 2011 |  6:18 pm

Rome_210_ What Sofia Coppola did for narcotic noise-pop in “Lost in Translation,” Danger Mouse and composer Daniele Luppi try to do for magic-hour orchestral R&B on the soundtrack to “Rome.” As a divergence for four super-talented, super-connected artists — Jack White and Norah Jones star in the film and make vocal cameos here — it’s diverting enough, and occasionally nails a bellini-sodden ennui enlivened by sly funk. But while the sounds are fantastic, the compositions tend to slip by, just another Mediterranean sunset.

The softest stuff works unexpectedly best here. “Season’s Trees” runs the canyon folk of Love through a tastefully reserved string section and a bassline right out of Bowie’s best. Jones’ kind of anonymous inflection actually fits this mood perfectly.

White’s scraggly yelp, so apt in the White Stripes, is a bit of a distraction on the moody “Rose With a Broken Neck.” “The Gambling Priest” gets some evocative guitar noodling, and “Roman Blue” and “Morning Fog” are fine, wan tone poems. But it’s a Campari-and-soda kind of sadness that doesn’t stick around.

Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi
Two and a half stars (Out of four)


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— August Brown