Danger Mouse and Karen O - Lux Prima
Danger Mouse and Karen O
Karen O and Danger Mouse you say? Well color me interested. Danger Mouse the super producer from the early 2010's and Karen O the front women for perhaps one of my favorite rock bands the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, teaming up for something weird for the both of them. This album comes as a precursor for an art exhibit the duo are putting on in Los Angeles later on this month. Danger Mouse has been somewhat quiet since the Gnarls Barkley days, producing some but not really taking center stage on anything anymore. Karen O as well has had some downtime so the mood is definitely right for something new from the both of them. Lux Prima is not the punk inspired indie rock of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, nor is it the slick R&B of Gnarles Barkley. This record fuses the personas of both so well, the easy dreamy production of danger mouse and the pent up yet incredibly beautiful vocal of Karen O. You don't get the screamy Karen of old until "Woman" and it could not come at a more perfect time. The song starts as a sort of gentle drum and keyboard number but then from deep in the background a dirty electric guitar comes worming in as Karen let's her voice fucking loose. It's really a revelation and makes you remember that Karen O is one of the best rock stars we have. She is wild and makes incredibly great choices, but everything comes back to her distinctive voice. It's not only the actual sound she makes, but also how she says things that makes her so infectious. When you hear Karen O it makes you want to listen to little else.
This album does not feel like it is breaking any new ground, just doing music at an extremely high level. Songs like "Drown" with it's orchestral breakdown and swimming vibe have been done before, but not the way Danger Mouse and Karen O can do it. You can only imagine the kind of art experience will be coupled with this album, but rest assured it will push your boundaries. There is this laid back energy like on"Leopard's Tongue" that sucks you right in, but just beneath the surface there lies something just a bit sinister. It takes musicians like these to be daring and make a song like "Reveries" that is infused with an old time spiritual vibe. It sounds like something recorded around the 1930's but with a psychedelic leaning that could only come from the 1960s. The grounding point throughout the record is Karen O's voice, she never let's you down and always knows just what to say, or not to say, to make the song really soar. Lux Prima might be a one off, but let's hope not because this collaboration is really special and could lead to even better things.
8.7 out of 10