March 17, 2019

Karen O & Danger Mouse - Lux Prima Review

Karen O and Danger Mouse - Lux Prima Review

Karen O and Danger Mouse - Lux Prima Review

Both of the musicians involved in the creation of this work have already had highly successful careers in their own right. Danger Mouse, involved as a partner for such musical acts as Gnarls Barkley, Broken Bells (with The Shins' frontman James Mercer), Danger Doom (with MF DOOM), as well as serving as a musical producer for Beck, The Black Keys, and Portugal. The Man among others, has proven time and time again that his talent for curating high-quality musical content for multiple big name artists is second to none. Karen O, frontwoman of the unique three-piece indie rock group The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, from New York City, has been one of the main reasons three of their four albums have been nominated for a Grammy award since their debut, Fever To Tell, in 2003. Together, it seems fitting that these two artists would come together for a stab at a collaborative album. For their debut together, Karen O and Danger Mouse join forces for an easy listening and satisfying electronic pop experience in Lux Prima.

Angelic cries and a magnum opus-like Floydian orchestra bookend Lux Prima with its title track and closer, "Nox Lumina". Still, both tracks have extra songs nestled within them; its opener starts over with a slowish drum kit as Karen croons, "I'm nowhere, I'm no one, I'm nobody. There's nobody but you." It's well executed and contains catchy instrumentation before falling back into the baroque style synth and orchestra, and grows into another beautiful groove with Karen O's wisps of vocals. The church-like ambience carries over into the album's second track, "Ministry", and conjures another smooth number that Karen plays with, showing little effort in her vocal resonance and brilliance, and which produces a feeling of calm and peacefulness that is worth the experience. Danger Mouse also proves himself to be a master pop album producer with these tracks, as well as the next two singles. "Turn The Light" and "Woman" both show us that Karen O has full control of her vocal register and falsetto, displaying full composure for the former, and an unbridled wild side of her in the latter. "Woman" and it's subsequent track, "Redeemer", both remind us where Karen O came from, as this singing style's very similar to how she performs when fronting The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. “Drown” has the somber melodies and melancholy singing that pulls you in to its sensual chorus, playing and toying with the idea of our own mortality and depression in life.

Overall, Lux Prima is a fun and relaxed listen. There isn't a whole lot of new ground gained from the fruits of this high profile collaboration. I would have honestly expected something a little more from these talented, veteran musicians, but Lux Prima hits all the right notes and does it safely to create a pretty, standard, electronic pop album.

Lux Prima - 8/10

Recommended Tracks: Lux Prima, Ministry, Redeemer