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[Album Review] Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse Present: Dark Night of the Soul

Rumors of a Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley and Broken Bells) and Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse) collaboration have been surfacing for the past two years.  The details of the album have been shrouded in mystery until recently when it was revealed the album will officially be released on July 13, 2010.  After a long battle with record label EMI, Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse will finally be able to share their beautiful work with the public. There is a mysterious and slightly haunting feel to Dark Night of the Soul.  This is caused by the actual sound of the record as well as the upsetting backstory of the album.  Sadly, Mark Linkous, Dark Night of the Soul co-writer, committed suicide this past March, never getting the chance to see the project through to its release.  Mark Linkous will truly be missed.  Guest vocalist Vic Chesnutt also sadly took his own life last December and will be greatly missed in the music community as well.  These tragedies put a shadow over the album, but within the mystery of the album there are hints of great joy. After listening to Dark Night of the Soul a handful of times it is tough to put a finger on the emotion one should feel while listening.  There is so much sad karma surrounding this album, yet Dark Night of the Soul is a delightful listen at moments.  I almost feel guilty enjoying this album given the backstory. It is difficult to put a genre or style to the music or even make comparisons to other artists or recordings due to the blend of styles on the album.  Dark Night of the Soul contains a wide range of collaborating artists including The Flaming Lips, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Iggy Pop, Frank Black of the Pixies as well as many others. Track to track the album alters styles depending on the artist(s) who are featured on the given track.  My three, although there are others, choice cuts from the album include the opening track "Revenge" featuring The Flaming Lips, "Star Eyes (I Can't Catch It)" featuring David Lynch, and "The Man Who Played God" featuring Suzanne Vega. Filmmaker and visual artist David Lynch created a series of original photographs that go with Dark Night of the Soul that act as a visual dimension to the project.  Be sure to pick up a copy of the album and the photographs that go with this spectacular project. Although they are no longer with us, Linkous and Chesnutt have left us with a beautiful album to remember them by. If you would like to listen to the album before you purchase, NPR is streaming the album in its entirety.
Dark Night of the Soul Tracklist 1. Revenge (featuring The Flaming Lips) 2. Just War (featuring Gruff Rhys) 3. Jaykub (featuring Jason Lytle) 4. Little Girl (featuring Julian Casablancas) 5. Angel's Harp (featuring Frank Black) 6. Pain (featuring Iggy Pop) 7. Star Eyes (I Can't Catch It) (featuring David Lynch) 8. Everytime I'm With You (featuring Jason Lytle) 9. Insane Lullaby (featuring James Mercer of The Shins) 10. Daddy's Gone (featuring Mark Linkous & Nina Persson) 11. The Man Who Played God (featuring Suzanne Vega) 12. Grim Augury (featuring Vic Chestnutt) 13. Dark Night Of The Soul (featuring David Lynch & horns by Scott Spillane) -Sam Ryan


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07/13/2010 12:43PM
[Album Review] Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse Present: Dark Night of the Soul
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