Karen O & Danger Mouse Lux Prima

Karen O & Danger Mouse Lux Prima
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Danger Mouse has a habit of smoothing out his collaborators' rough edges, giving everything a futuristic, synth-laden sheen. His latest team-up is with Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O on Lux Prima, and it finds the producer born Brian Burton up to his usual tricks. Lux Prima certainly isn't Karen O's most urgent or explosive work, but it all sounds exceptionally lovely.
 
"Turn the Light" is an early highlight, its slippery disco-funk grooves swelling with reverb-drench harmonies during the soft-focus chorus. Back-half standouts "Drown" and "Reveries" mix downtempo balladry with grandiose orchestrations, making a strong case for Danger Mouse as a Hollywood soundtrack composer. Karen O spends most of the tracks in crooner mode, mostly downplaying her shriek in favour of soft coos.
 
As gorgeous as it all is, it's the banger "Woman" that steals the show. With a thundering drum beat lifted straight out of '60s wall-of-sound pop and a wild vocal performance from Karen O, it resembles YYYs with a Danger Mouse twist. It's tempting to imagine what the rest of Lux Prima might sound like with a little more of that raw bravado. (BMG)