CD Review: Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse

Dark Night of the Soul (Capitol)

Late Sparklehorse auteur Mark Linkous was always a fugitive from the Isle of Misfit Toys. His art-damaged pop is subsumed with sentiments of sweet innocence overshadowed by ache, longing, and alienation. Linkous found a match in producer Danger Mouse (Brian Burton), who layers these 13 tracks with all manner of odd loops and samples. Conceived while they worked together on Linkous' previous album, Dark Night of the Soul bears Burton's fingerprints throughout. Still, it's very much a Sparklehorse album. Rather than sing the songs himself, Linkous brought in a bunch of all-star collaborators, including Iggy Pop, James Mercer, and Suzanne Vega. They do an amazing job. But the key is the record's consistent tone, which is aptly captured in its title. Linkous' dark night may be over, but his anguish lives on. Chris Parker