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For the diehard fans of Danger Mouse this is one album that has been a long time in the making. Five years it has taken the American producer to finally emerge from the mist with this ode to Italo-Western film. And with Italian composer Daniele Luppi and a small cast of high profile guests joining him on this faux-soundtrack, to think it would be anything less than exquisite is just absurd and ignorant.

Drawing inspiration from such a unique sub-genre of film, ‘Rome’ has a distinct and distinguished sound that is mature and meticulous. You can essentially hear Luppi’s love for the romanticism and fragility of classic Italian soundtracks in every note played. It is truly a connoisseur’s album, a sentiment that is demonstrated perfectly through the blasé introduction Theme of Rome.

The careful placement of Jack White’s vocals in follow-up The Rose with the Broken Neck and throughout ‘Rome’ are a production masterpiece as they give the album the raw edge and bite that it desperately needs to stop tedium and repetitiousness creeping in. The Rose with the Broken Neck’s intriguing lyrics and conflicting lullaby/’soundtrack to a nightmare’ essences offer it the potential to take over the record’s preliminary stages.

Roman Blue is the instrumental piece that could accompany any great film (spaghetti-western or non) in a post-climatic finale scene and the soft howls that ring out towards completion give it a mystique that, on this album, is rivalled only by Norah Jones on Season’s Trees. Problem Queen’s intricacies are overpowered (without remaining completely unnoticed) by Norah Jones as her vocals again play a pivotal role in the distinction of this track as one of the album’s highlights.

While much of the record is instrumental, Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi have ensured that the subtle diversity between each of these tracks are not lost nor disregarded. It is a privilege to be able to enjoy works of such mastery. Anyone with taste will appreciate everything these artists have accomplished through their collaborations on ‘Rome’. In an intricate and sometimes inexplicable genre, Rome’s beauty shines like a lighthouse. Exceptional!

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