Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi: Rome 

EMI

Once upon a time, the concept of Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton teaming up with Jack White and Norah Jones for a spaghetti Western soundtrack would have seemed totally absurd. Not so much in 2011. Gnarls Barkley's two sprawling, cinematic albums established Danger Mouse as a truly innovative producer unafraid to take on such incongruous, monumental tasks, while White's increasingly peculiar leanings seem to have led him directly to this point. As for Jones, under the direction of Italian composer Daniele Luppi, she is born again, serious and seductive, absolved of all nu-jazz sins. Rome is billed as a tribute to Ennio Morricone's film scores of yesteryear, and in a neat twist some of the remaining players from those works appear here. A project with such weighty aspirations should collapse under its own glut. Instead, it's a gorgeous and faithful document, a testimony to the skill and passion of all involved. (4 out of 5 stars)

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