Danger Mouse's Metacritic Handicap

2421 days ago
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Judging from Metacritic, critics have formed a predictable consensus on each new Danger Mouse project: Good but not great.

Here are the Metacritic scores for three recent Danger Mouse albums:
The Good, The Bad & The Queen S/T: 76
Gnarls Barkley The Odd Couple
: 76
Beck Modern Guilt: 76

One other 2008 Danger Mouse album, though, topped that critical 76albeit not by much:
Black Keys - Attack and Release: 77

Another less publicized 2008 Danger Mouse collaboration, Martina Topley-Birds The Blue God hasnt received enough coverage to make Metacritic, but judging from the published reviewed, would probably score about a 75 (its actually a worthwhile trip-hop album, sad and subdued in all the right ways).

These scores arent bad, and by and large, neither are the albumsin particular, the Gnarls Barkley and Beck discs are pretty wonderful, even if they arent the masterpieces some fans (and apparently critics) were hoping for. Its hard to say, though, whether the only so-so reviews reflect a growing and ominous indifference to the prolific producer, or whether theyll actually benefit him. Danger Mouse has long been a victim of unrealistic expectations, and by flooding the market now with strong but not revolutionary releases, hes carefully lowering them, setting the stage for a prolonged career.

Of course, thats what it seemed like Dan the Automator was doing at the turn of the century, too.

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