Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Danger Mouse And Sparklehorse: Dark Night Of The Soul

If legal problems hadn’t prevented Dark Night Of The Soul from coming out in May 2009, it might have seemed like merely another in a long string of collaborations from Danger Mouse’s cooled-down sound-world—a more deliberately creepy variant of his work with Gnarls Barkley, Beck, and more recently, Broken Bells. (It did see a semi-release in 2009: A book of photos by director David Lynch was issued with a blank CD-R, and the tracks were widely leaked.) But with its official issue in mid-2010, Dark Night Of The Soul stands as a kind of memorial for Mark Linkous, a.k.a. Sparklehorse, who committed suicide this past March. Dark Night is a vocal showcase: Lynch, James Mercer of The Shins and Broken Bells, The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne, Iggy Pop, and several more stamp the tracks with appropriately brooding vocals. Only a few really stick, and not always in a good way—see Black Francis’ cartoonish howl on “Angels’ Harp.” But “Grain Augury” has a woozy majesty that serves as a dual memorial—it’s sung by Vic Chesnutt, who also took his life earlier this year. And the title track, with none other than Lynch on vocals, is a genuinely spooky standout, with electric piano and a vocal run blurry beneath vinyl crackle. It’s an eerily appropriate closing word for an album whose history has been troubled in more ways than one.


Share This Story

Get our newsletter