New from Italian composer Daniele Luppi, whose 2011 album featured Danger Mouse, Jack White and Norah Jones. This time round, Luppi has enlisted droll indie rockers Parquet Courts (who have also provided some of the artwork for the project) and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Inspired by 1980s Milan, Milano is another creative album featuring well-loved indie favourites.
8/10 Robin Staff review, 25 October 2017
This week’s “sure, why not” of record releases is a collaborative effort by Italian composer Daniele Luppi and ingenious layabouts Parquet Courts, who occasionally resemble an indie rock band. Actually, thank me very much, Luppi is no stranger to just appearing on pop ‘n’ rock records, having helped orchestrate a tune on Gnarls Barkley’s ‘St. Elsewhere’ and the most recent Red Hot Chilli Peppers record. Don’t even get me started on them, but his arrangements on this record feel deliberately back-seated for a bunch of slacker shred tunes by them Parquet Courts. What a nice dude.
Oh, and Karen O is all over it too, which is really great: a half-generation before the Courts crew, it’s really quite nice to hear them mixed in together, melding angular guitars to her snarking, heaving vocal which as always sounds more dynamic than anything that came after it. The whole thing feels wonderfully ramshackle, the various component parts playing their instruments and singing they’re songs like they’re shaking something off of themselves. Luppi’s moments feel as playful and band-involved as his new buds, ultimately contributing wonky, comedic flourishes to a record of groovy shambolics.
Mostly, this is one for Parquet Courts (who sound wide awake, for once) and Karen O fans, as the two generally just switch up vocal duties over the same carry-on indie rock theatrics. Head Court-ster and O duet on the record's final track, which is a dream -- throughout they're indebted to the concept album of Luppi's dreams, an observation of city-sprawled gentrification and what it's like to be young among the crowds. It feels cinematic, and maybe even pantomimic, but from within a genre that's always felt chill and lackadaisical. An indie rock opera? Hell yeah.
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- Milano by Daniele Luppi & Parquet Courts
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