The album Dark Night of the Soul is headed by musical artists Danger Mouse and Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, and includes various musical collaborations like The Flaming Lips, Frank Black, James Mercer of The Shins, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, Julian Casablancas of the Strokes, Iggy Pop, and even film director David Lynch to name a few. Within the 45-minute duration, the album journeys through lush, frantic and dark soundscapes, perfectly capturing the typically eerie environment of one’s dreams. Having so much musical talent and variations in musical style, it is easy for such an album to become too bloated with its ambitious intentions. Luckily, this is not the case. In fact, Dark Night of the Soul proves to be one of the best, if not THE best, album of the year that no one will be able to hear… legally, at least.
Not only does this album have a guaranteed audience with the assortment of genres it navigates through, but it is just so well made that it is infuriating as to why record label EMI refuses to release it. In order to work around all the legal gray area, Dark Night of the Soul can currently be streamed from the National Public Radio’s website. The album’s official website is also selling a 100-plus page-book with photography by David Lynch, inspired by the music and including a blank CD-R labeled, “For legal reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.” Whether streamed or downloaded from a torrent, this album deserves to be heard.
No track on Dark Night of the Soul is filler. The variety of genres is beautifully fused together by Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse into a focused experience. Elements of surf rock, jazz and electronica can all be heard here. The album switches tones from the melancholy “Revenge,” to the grungy and aggressive “Angel’s Harp” and ends with the hypnotic, dark “Grim Augury.” A sense of eerie surrealism that is strewn through every track along with general themes of pain, loss, and desperation function as a sort of focal point throughout the album. Overall, it is most similar to the experience of a Lynch film: mysterious, creepy, funny and strangely heartfelt. Every track is crucial for the complete experience; an experience worth revisiting over and over again.