If you leave aside the odd Disney or Muppet albums of my youth, I’ve been listening to albums for 23 years and most of the time by spin three I ‘get’ an album. However there’s a small number of records that I got instantly. Clinic’s Internal Wrangler was one of the first, Radiohead’s Kid A, Belle and Sebastian’s Tigermilk, Moldy Peaches self-titled debut and Deerhunter’s Halcyon Digest come to mind and now Daniele Luppi and Parquet Courts Milano has joined that list of amazing first listens.
Daniele Luppi is an Italian composer who has arranged strings for Gnarls Barkley and Red Hot Chili Peppers. A few years ago he collaborated with Danger Mouse and Jack White creating a concept album about Rome. It seems that he is continuing the concept but this time he has focused, as the album’s title suggests, Milan (described as the New York of Europe). However while Rome was a tribute to spaghetti westerns, Milan is stuffed with spiky post punk, (in order to keep in line with the NY comparison), courtesy of New York band Parquet Courts. As an added bonus fellow New Yorker Karen O sings on a few tracks.
What can be said? this is an album with catchy tracks spilling out of it. If you’re a fan of that distinctive post punk scratchy guitar, lolloping bass and metronomic drumming then you are in for a treat. There’s some Pavementesque slacker moments and Luppi adds his own touch by adding chimes and handclaps.
There are so many amazing tracks. Soul and Cigarette displays Luppi’s signature flourishes. Mount Napoleon is like some type of long lost grunge album via a 90’s lo-fi band. Talisa is Karen O at her best managing to balance swagger with sweetness. Closing instrumental Cafe Flesh pays a huge homage to James Chance and the Contortions . More descriptions? I like the way Karen O and Andrew Savage interchange vocals on Pretty Prizes and you’ve got to love a track that makes fun of a Bob Dylan song
Milano (which is the album’s proper name) is a joyous 30 minutes. Each track is memorable, danceable and plain entertaining. It also doubles as a nice primer t\for listeners to missed out on the post punk renaissance of the mid 00’s.