Danger Mouse
The Grey Album


4.0
excellent

Review

by Hernan M. Campbell STAFF
May 14th, 2012 | 23 replies | 4,770 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An abomination that could have only been formulated by a mad scientist.

Mash-ups are, at the very least, an interesting experience. It is the fusion of different musical components uniting to create something new. These components often originate from different genres, but if coalesced dexterously, can evolve into an enjoyable listen. Danger Mouse's The Grey Album is an infamous effort due to the legal obstructions that surrounded its release. The album is an amalgamation of the vocalizations in Jay-Z's The Black Album with instrumental elements derived from The Beatles' White Album. Jay-Z had released an a cappella version of his album, intentionally for the implicit purpose of encouraging mashups and remixes. The material from The Beatles, on the other hand, was used without permission. Due to the amount of attention the album was receiving, EMI, the copyright holder of material by The Beatles, ordered Danger Mouse to cease distribution. But because of the growing popularity of his work, the album continued to be distributed, and eventually becoming recognized as one of the most illustrious efforts in its genre.

As I said before, Mash-ups can be an enjoyable listening experience when orchestrated adequately. The DJ work in this album is mesmerizing and at times it can prove to be quite inventive, and even ingenious. "99 Problems" is the most eminent moment in this project. The instrumental elements are derived strictly from "Helter Skelter", but Danger Mouse completely disassembled the entire song and reinvented it. The guitar work that make up the essential part of the beat are beautifully composed as they roar with a passionate cry behind Jay-Z's vocals, inducing a truly compelling delivery. "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" is another highlight. This time the instrumental section derives from a much more gentle piece, "Julia", an acoustic ballad. The synchronization in this song is truly astonishing. It opens with the same soothing introductory guitar arrangement as the original "Julia", but once Jay-Z enters with his opening statement, the music evolves into this disorienting frenzy of rearranged guitar notes and stomping drumbeats.

The Grey Album is certainly an exemplary release within the Mash-up genre, but it does contain its share of missteps. "Allure" and "December 4th" are constructed in such a facile manner. Driven by repetitive musical soundscapes that fail to provide the same surrealistic experiences found in the other compositions. But for the most part, Danger Mouse does prove himself to be a wildly imaginative DJ. Despite the fact that The Beatles and Jay-Z stand on the opposite sides of the musical spectrum, tracks like "What More Can I Say" and "My First song", display how well Danger Mouse is able to coalesce these two musical components in a fashion that presents itself quite naturally, as the background music works thematically with the vocals. The overall sound of this album has a very interesting aesthetic because even though the instrumental sections are derived from a Rock album, they have been re-orchestrated to the point where the music expresses itself like pure Hip-hop. This is certainly an interesting release from Danger Mouse, and one that should be heard by any enthusiast of Mash-up efforts.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2012



4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This an old review I had lying around, I thought id upload it to add some diversity in my music chart.

Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

CaptainDooRight
May 14th 2012



28805 Comments


Yeah I was jus gonna say this is prolly ur first hip hop rev that I've seen. Nonetheless pos

Digging: Tukaaria - Raw to the Rapine

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2012



4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Captain, yeah I have a lot of Jazz and Rock stuff. So this is good to show that i can leave my comfort zone.

livingisland
May 14th 2012



524 Comments


Great review. Is there somewhere I can obtain this because I've been wanting to hear this for years

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2012



4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I got it at Filestube.com. It should still be available there. I got it from there months ago. I hope this helps.

CaptainDooRight
May 14th 2012



28805 Comments


The overall sound of this album has a very interesting aesthetic because even though the instrumental sections are derived from a Rock album, they have been re-orchestrated to the point where the music feels like pure Hip-hop. This is certainly an interesting release from Danger Mouse, and one that should be heard by any enthusiast of Mash-up efforts.

Still haven't lost ur touch bro

livingisland
May 14th 2012



524 Comments


Thanks man, I'll definitely listen to this very soon. Knowing Danger Mouse, I'll probably enjoy it

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2012



4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@livingisland
No worries, hope you find it.

@Captain
Thanks captain, I do what I can.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2012



31072 Comments


Love this

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2012



10056 Comments


lovely review, friend

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

CaptainDooRight
May 14th 2012



28805 Comments


Jus listened to 3 tracks off this. Pretty solid for hip hop. I rather enjoyed the fusion of alternatives quite nicely

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2012



28420 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

alright fucker

i didn't re-neg your last re-submit because i was glad that you took the time to edit and re-work your review

but please check this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITS

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2012



28420 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

otherwise, pos

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2012



4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@theacademy
You're right. I do have a problem differentiating "its" and "it's", as well as when to use a ";". so yeah I will edit that. Thank you.

CaptainDooRight
May 14th 2012



28805 Comments


About 98% of the people I know have the same prob I wouldn't worry to much about it. After all English is one of if not the most overly complicated languages out there

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2012



28420 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

still if you choose to write in english...

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2012



31072 Comments


That's why acad writes in Spanish

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2012



28420 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

;)

(i mean if you call that writing...)

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2012



4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, but academy has a point. And I take my writing very seriously so I'll definitely watch out for that in the future.

CaptainDooRight
May 14th 2012



28805 Comments


same



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