Review: Lux Prima by Karen O and Danger Mouse

Lux Prima by Karen O and Danger MouseKaren O and Danger Mouse have been prolific collaborators across the years: the former has worked with the likes of Ezra Koenig and Michael Kiwanuka if she’s not fronting the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, while the latter is one-half of both Gnarls Barkley and Broken Bells, apart from his long production list. It was inevitable they’d meet, although we kept that possibility in the realms of fantasy festivals. But, well, here it is, and it’s as glorious and messy as we expected it to be. Lux Prima sees the two find an intersection in the cinematic side of the 60s: Danger Mouse’s music has leaned towards that many times, while Karen’s got the vocals for that. The record finds itself so deeply immersed in that sound that it can feel like just a study in textures rather than an effort to make pop songs, which is not a criticism, but can be a frustration. Everything is sprawling, but not too much, things punctuated by some smart funky turns in production, but most especially Karen’s voice, which adapts well to whatever is thrown at her. But I shall not complain, for this might not happen again. When two frequent collaborators finally come together, the result will be tasty no matter what. [NB]3/5

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