#4. Daniele Luppi & Danger Mouse - Rome
"Two Against One" f. Jack White
When you heard the words “Danger Mouse”, “Daniele Luppi”, “Jack White”, “Norah Jones” and “album” all used in the same sentence, you knew it was took to be good. But Rome turned out to be more than good, it’s in fact a pretty incredible.
It sounds like the soundtrack to the most epic movie, but (even though it suggests it is in the title) Rome is simply an epic collaboration project. However, the soundtrack notion is fitting given the imagery that this album invokes for the listener. Rome is a kind of interpersonal imagination project. Your imagination is tempted and teased by so many different places—contemporary and historical, fictional and real. You can picture it accompanying any number of things from a classic Western to a French film, from Cirque de Solei to real gypsies, or for me, some fantasy based place a la Golden Compass or Game of Thrones.
The arrangement and instrumentation of Rome is so powerful and nostalgic, sweeping from one song to another with seamless cohesion. As an instrumental collection it would be impressive standing alone. The interludes enough are enough to get your attention. Enter Norah Jones and Jack White and you have an epic musical narrative. It’s the songs that focus on Jack and Norah that entice you to the next level of love for Rome. Songs like “Two Against One”, “Black”, and “Problem Queen” are these intense sing along highs. They make self contained stories but are nestled so perfectly in the bigger picture, the bigger story.
In a year of jam bands and collaborations, Rome is the standout. I hope these incredible musicians collaborate again, because the result was one of my favorite musical journeys ever, let alone in 2011.