It’s not until the song “Redeemer” that Karen O sounds anything like her old Yeah Yeah Yeahs self, with a refrain, “I’m comin’ for you, you comin’ for me?” and a voice that’s a challenge and a threat. But that’s OK. Because by the time Lux Prima hits that track, I’ve forgotten how much I miss her old band.
Karen O hasn’t released a proper album in half a decade. Instead, she’s been on soundtracks and singles (notably a cover of “Immigrant Song” with Trent Reznor), laying low—making everyone wonder where she was.
Turns out, she was figuring out how to be a much quieter artist, with a smooth voice, no gravel, and no angst. And it works. An ambient beginning, followed by straight up rock, hipsway soul, and dance floor funk. All the variations you’ve come to expect from beatmaker Danger Mouse, and a range in vocal quality and texture unlike anything I’ve heard before from Ms. O.
This is one of the best albums I’ve heard so far in 2019. A collaboration between two legends like this could easily have been a let-down or, worse, a disaster. Thankfully, this is the exact opposite.