CD review: Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse

Annie Zaleski

The Details

Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse
Dark Night of the Soul
Three stars

The shadow of death hangs over Dark Night of the Soul’s macabre rust-punk, psych-rock nightmares and cracked-mirror keyboards. Sadly, it’s a literal shadow, too: In the year between the album’s leak and its release, Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous and featured vocalist Vic Chesnutt both committed suicide. The latter’s warped, weary vocal take on the title track is a highlight. Julian Casablancas’ “Kids” sounds like a new-wave Halloween party favor, while both Black Francis (“Angel’s Harp”) and Iggy Pop (“Pain”) storm through fuzzy, rotting, garage-rock drones. To its detriment, though, Soul often favors atmosphere over structure—and perhaps because of the presence of David Lynch, whose photos decorate an accompanying book, the album’s creeping dread is existential instead of concrete.


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