Music: A Rodent In the Gorilla House

Brian (Danger Mouse) Burton's last album made history. His latest is better—and this time it's legal

In 2003 Brian Burton's life was turned upside down by a joke. As a composer-producer-DJ working under the name Danger Mouse (often in a mouse costume to ease his stage fright), Burton had a solid career on music's experimental fringe when it hit him: mix the Beatles' White Album with Jay-Z's Black Album, and you get a gray album. "I was cleaning my house at the time," says Burton. "It wasn't my deepest thought ever." Still, he spent three cloistered weeks in his bedroom translating snippets of Beatles music into hip-hop rhythm and synchronizing them with Jay-Z's vocals. Then he burned...

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