Karen O and Danger Mouse

Lux Prima

BMG

Mar 19, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Any doubts that one may have about Karen O (enigmatic lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and artist/producer Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley, Broken Bells, Gorillaz, etc.) making strange bedfellows are quickly dismissed upon hearing the imaginative and gratifying Lux Prima.

What is strange however, is the curious choice of the album opener. The 9-minute title track plays more like a two-part soundtrack that shifts gears mid-track from a mysterious, dreamy soundscape to a slinky, luxurious space-pop song. But tracks two and three, "Ministry" and "Turn the Light," sound more like what you would expect from this musical partnership. R&B-tinged, syrupy bass lines provide a toe-tapping backbone for the layered, feathery synths with just the right amount of colorful guitar work, while Karen O coos all sweet and sexy in the swank mix.

The duo shifts gears again by upping the ante with the tribal stomp of fourth track "Woman." Stealing a page from The Kills' raucous riff rock, and Karen O shedding the sweet and sexy for the fiery and fierce, "Woman" is a cranking tune and the highlight of the album. "Redeemer," "Drown," and "Leopard's Tongue" are a bit of a downshift, but still sustain the thrilling magic by mixing in a hint of a reggae feel on top of the slithery rhythm patterns and trippy beats. But "Reveries" pumps the brakes on the hip ride with its stark arrangement and sparse vocals, demonstrating Lux Prima is not revved up all the way through.

While Danger Mouse continues his impeccable track record of collaborations with a wide array of noteworthy artists, and Karen O enchants us with her distinctive warble, Lux Prima proves to be a likable record that is enjoyable on first listen despite its few minor flaws. Repeated plays make it a lovable record as the subtle, ultra-cool textures creep into your consciousness and make for dynamic and vibrant tunes that leave swirling, seraphic sensations playing inside your head. (www.karenomusic.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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