The Tracks and the Artistry

Parquet Courts create a tone that lies between the feelies, late Velvet Underground, and the Modern Lovers: seedy and gritty, bleary-eyed while being bright. Andrew Savage delivers jadedly on “Soul and Cigarette”, evoking Lou Reed’s most flatly, explicitly vocalization of a “bloodthirsty saint that has the soul of a whore” as the Parquet Courts rally behind him a glinting glockenspiel that brightens the corners of the track. Handclaps and chimes bring a little bounce to the track “Mount Napoleon”, although the lyrics show a fraying underneath. Parquet Courts later venture into a down-tuned sound of Captain Beefheart along with his mystic band, and Cafe Flesh skronking horns pay Tribute to New York’s no-wave culture by the tip of a hat.

On the tracks that feature Karen O, Parquet Courts’ vibe slopes up, implying a cocktail of espresso, benzedrine, and overflowing ashtrays. Talisa’s bouncing bass and nervy guitar jangle renews Real Good Time Together by VU into the ideal springboard for Karen O, who doot-doots, pouts and mewls across the lyric to the model Talisa Soto. The Golden Ones is underpinned by post-punk wiriness where the throbbing basslines and spindly guitars snap against Karen O’s pouty singing.

As Andrew Savage’s voice exhausts its rhymes in “Memphis Blues Again”, it frays, while Parquet Courts prove instrumental in the early Fall sides’ anxious air. Fall is one of the things you think of when the grooves tighten into a stomp on Flush, which features Karen O’s most assured and petulant character on Milano, strutting and sneering over the rhythm as she squawks as Mark Smith recast as a fashion guru.

During playback of the album, Daniele Luppi’s name may fail to cross your mind. Daniele Luppi lets his talent booking and casting do all the talking rather than showing off his talent as arranger and composer. However, Karen O’s effort in the album is undoubtedly sufficient to catch the attention of Molho. Just like the city in the golden age of the 1980s, Milano is full of possibilities, superficial, and vibrant. This is a great album to listen to if you like the works of Daniele Luppi and Parquet Courts or want to explore something different. The collaboration with Parquet courts differs in some ways from other works by the album, but this is a good thing since it brings Milano’s uniqueness. Like Daniele Luppi’s 2011 album, Rome, Milano doesn’t make a lot of sense on paper, but all that changes when you listen to it. It is a one of a kind album reminiscent of the 1980s Milan.…

The Tracks – Perfect Chemistry of the Artists

Milano was inspired by another city that has been an essential part of Daniele Luppi’s life. The album is reminiscent of 80s Milan high fashion’s achingly cool vibe. The album beautifully blends Karen O’s brush energy and slacker punks Parquet Courts’ yin and yang. Although at first glance, you may think that the frenetic purr of Karen O’ and the slurring dissonance of Parquet Courts are incompatible, the duo is pretty intriguing.

Karen O only makes an appearance on half of Milano, and in O’s absence, Parquet Courts are predominant with all the nervy DIY features that are responsible for the success of their albums. While the first track, soul, and cigarettes, Daniele Luppi intersperses keys that shine through the buzz saw, ramshackle guitars like glitzy department shop windows lights, “Mount Napoleon” is down-tuned and off-kilter with a jittery and laxity undertone reminiscent of pavements or silver Jews.

Milano’s highlight moments is when Karen O picks up the mic, and Parquet Courts play the guitar to compliment Karen O’s kittenish exuberance. Jack riffs stub, thrust, and needle on “Flush” and “Talisa” while the vocals of Karen O’s drip, strut, and stalk with sexuality that’s unapologetic. In” The Golden One”, Karen O mischievously orders “Touch Yourself”, and later in ragged magazine-esque riffs on Pretty Prizes, breathlessly asks whether her dance is appealing.

On paper, the album ought to be a failure, but it was a resounding success. In Milano, Daniele Luppi created a fashionable and fast-paced record that epitomizes Milan’s lifeblood as a super stylish, seductive, and hedonistic city. In the 80s Milan, there was a perception that all things were possible. The streets were full of glamorous foreigners, money flowed, and parties raged. It was a very vibrant atmosphere, although a bit superfluous. This description is at the heart of Daniele Luppi’s album Milano. Daniele Luppi achieved his fame in LA, where he worked for artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Gnarls Barkley as an arranger. However, Daniele Luppi’s work dates back to his native country. The album is a tribute to the 80s, where Daniele Luppi spent his teenage years in Milan.

In a similar fashion to how the utilization of White and Jones to induce the youth of Ennio Morricone wasn’t very convincing on paper but became successful in the album Rome, Milano’s success is equally surprising. In the album, Milan is dubbed Milano da bere, which in English means drinking Milan because of Milan’s excessiveness in the 80s. 80s Milan has a lot of things in common with New York City. Therefore, it makes sense that Daniele Luppi’s album-length lyric to that place and time is reminiscent of New York city’s punk nascent vibe.

Other than a couple of sax storms here, and a couple of bell chimes there, you will be hard-pressed to pinpoint Daniele Luppi’s fingerprints throughout the album’s lively half-hour run time and 9 tracks. But when the duo of Karen O and Parquet Courts is this inspiring, who wouldn’t want to step back and let it flow? Much in the manner that “The Deuce” by HBO delights viewers by seeing Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco strut the streets of New York in the 1970s, hearing Karen O and Andrew Savage voice Milano’s desperate and wound up narrators is quite the thrill.…

Milano – A Post-Punk Jam-packed Album

Milano is an album by Italian composer Daniele Luppi. On the album, he collaborates with Parquet Courts as well as a post-punk album that features Karen O. Milano is an excellent follow up to Daniele Luppi’s 2011 album, Rome, in which he had collaborated with Danger Mouse. Daniele Luppi isn’t very famous, but his most popular work is the composition of “Crazy” for Gnarls Barkley.

Daniele Luppi’s work on Milano is fantastic. The first track of the album, Soul and Cigarette, starts with a beautiful melody that feels like it has been played on bells prior to becoming a slow song with Parquet Courts’ sound signature.

All songs featuring Savage act as a straightforward song by Parquet Courts, with some additional instrumentation. Daniele Luppi’s decision to include a saxophone with no meter or apparent melody on most of the songs in the album incorporates a cacophony that reminds you of free-form jazz. The instrumentation by Parquet Courts significantly compliments the saxophone by blending a beautiful post-punk sound, resulting in an original set of tracks that can be clearly distinguished from most of Parquet Courts’ previous works. As the songs become more frenetic, Parquet Courts capture a suspended, anxious feeling through their fantastic instrumentation.

The initial indication that Milano will feature more than the relaxed post-punk vibe that characterizes “Human Performance “–one of Parquet Courts albums–is when Tulisa plays. Karen O sings in an energetic and fast track about the model Talisa Soto.

“Memphis Blues Again” is Savage’s standout track as a singer. The track references Bob Dylan’s song, and a unique style of art is denounced by the narrator. Savage refers to the Memphis group, a design institution that derives its name from the track and is known for a postmodern, minimalistic style of furniture unique to the 1980s. The institution’s name is also derived from the Bob Dylan track.

Savage and Karen O only share vocal responsibilities on the song “Pretty Prizes”, in which the duo trades back and forth on the chorus. The transition between Savage and Karen O works beautifully, and the decision to let the duo appear together only once creates a unique feature on Milano.

The album climaxes and winds up in its final song, “Cafe Flesh”. The track is entirely instrumental, and the discordant energy featured in their proceeding 8 songs finds catharsis in a free form, cacophonous song, where an energetic and wandering saxophone is the centerpiece.

Although in a traditional sense Daniele Luppi does not appear on the record, his arrangements result in a cohesive album that has consistent motif and style. They descend into an ordinance, saxophone, bells, and synths beautifully complement the fantastic use of instrumentation.

The release of Milano was a great surprise to its listeners as well as itself. It finds experimental and fun paths for a 2017 post-punk album while leaving some hints of what you should expect next.

Featuring Norah Jones and Jack White and producer Danger Mouse, Daniele Luppi previous project “Rome” was composed as a love letter to Italian producers such as Riz Ortolani Luis Bacalov, and Piero Picconi, and Ennio Morricone, as well as spaghetti westerns and movie soundtracks of the 60s and 70s.…