Danger Mouse and Karen O seem like an unusual pairing but at this point Danger Mouse seems to be enjoying the pure joy and the challenge of exploring sounds with an intentionally broad range of artists. Does any other producer have a resume as diverse as MF DOOM, Parquet Courts, Gorillaz, Norah Jones, Beck, Adele, Sparklehorse and U2 just to name a few?!
Here the two artists come together to explore the outer limits of soulful, indie dream pop with tracks that are vivid, lush, and groovy. These tracks are peppered with a couple of more muscular cuts that give Karen O a chance to give her confident, womanly, expressive voice a chance to soar.
At various moments I am reminded of Beach House, Dusty Springfield, Zero7, Michael Kiwanuka, Burt Bacharach, Phil Spector, Blondie, Pink Floyd, Beck, U.S. Girls, The Supremes, Air, Nancy Sinatra, Serge Gainsbourg, and more. Overall, the feel is a bit like the second Gnarls Barkley album, 'The Odd Couple'. Both albums combine lush production (full of a rich palette of instruments) with a mellow, lightly spacey/psychedelic soul feel. However, Karen O's voice and versatility give this album more depth and intrigue than 'The Odd Couple'. She is consistently beguiling and captivating here. Danger Mouse's wonderfully sumptuous arrangements flesh out things perfectly. The whole album has an exuberant, cinematic feel that is both soothing and deliciously colourful.
Whenever two relatively big name artists choose to collaborate there is the inevitable question of whether the whole can be greater than the sum of it's parts. Often two artists, each respected in their own fields, struggle to gel in a way that produces something new and rewarding in its own right. Here, Karen O and Danger Mouse have done what the best collaborations should do: they have brought out new sides in each other to create a new, cohesive and distinctive package that is so damn irresistible and delightful to listen to.