There is a long tradition of concept albums in pop music. Some succeed brilliantly, while others fail spectacularly. Often they are too encumbered by their need to fit whatever the concept is to stand alone as a memorable piece of music. But when they work, they can take you on a remarkable journey. Rome is one of those rare journeys.
Over the course of five years, producer & beat-master extraordinaire Danger Mouse teamed up with composer and arranger Daniele Luppi to craft an album of songs inspired by the sounds of the classic Italian Spaghetti westerns. Echoes of film scores by such giants as Piero Umiliani, Gian Piero Reverberi and the legendary Ennio Morricone inform Danger Mouse and Luppi’s songs, framed in a contemporary setting and featuring pitch-perfect vocal contributions from Norah Jones and Jack White.
The record has already become a station-wide KCRW favorite. As an early fan, KCRW DJ Anne Litt notes:
“Luppi and Danger Mouse are specialists, each in their own way. Daniele takes his Italian heritage, his love of film, his reverence for the musicians that played on the great spaghetti western soundtracks and his skill as a composer and arranger and brings all of them to Rome. Danger Mouse takes his love of collaboration, his skills as a producer, his “mad scientist” approach to music, bending genres and expectations and brings them to Rome. The result is a record that sounds like the Roman musicians, studios and instruments of yesterday, breathing life into an album which feels altogether part of the present day.”
With a faithfulness bordering on obsession – they even brought in ground-breaking Italian musician Alessandro Alessandroni’s quintessential Spaghetti western choir, Cantori Moderni, who helped define such cinematic classics as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi have created a stellar concept album that works both as a blast from the past and a forward-thinking masterpiece.
-- Eric J. Lawrence, KCRW DJ and Music Librarian
Rome will be available to stream on demand from May 09 through June 07, 2011. The album will be released on Tuesday, May 10, 2011.
Artist website: http://romealbum.com
1. Theme Of Rome
2. The Rose With The Broken Neck
3. Morning Fog (Interlude)
4. Season's Trees
5. Her Hollow Ways (Interlude)
6. Roman Blue
7. Two Against One
8. The Gambling Priest
9. The World (Interlude)
11. The Matador Has Fallen
12. Morning Fog
13. Problem Queen
14. Her Hollow Ways
15. The World