The Good, the Bad and the Queen: "The Good, the Bad and the Queen"
Producer: Danger Mouse
Release Date: Jan. 23

If Danger Mouse's last big project, Gnarls something-or-other, existed in a zany monster movie, his new one takes place in the buildup scenes, where, say, a bunch of explorers are wandering around a misty, lost island. GBQ is a Damon Albarn-orchestrated supergroup featuring the Mouse, Clash bassist Paul Simonon and Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen, but despite the seeming firepower, things stay at an extremely controlled simmer throughout. Albarn uses his big-ticket friends as judiciously as possible, but though he's going for wartime detachment, he rarely locks into a memorably melody. And though Simonon gets all dubbed-out, and Danger Mouse helps create a sonic London fog, the whole thing is also, well, sort of boring. As was the case with the Gorillaz, Albarn's clearly into the concept (rickety chill-out) but as an album, "The Good, the Bad and the Queen" seems to be waiting for a payoff that never materializes. --Jeff Vrabel