The Ghost Inside
This pairing makes total sense: Both Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) and the Shins' James Mercer have an uncanny ability for packaging perfect little pop songs, big diamonds in petite boxes that hit just the right pleasure points. On their debut, they give us two fat gems right from the get-go with "The High Road" and "Vaporize." From there, Burton finds drama in every nuance: woozy orchestral flourishes, rickety static, spaghetti-western horns, beats that melt on impact. These effects allow Mercer's lullaby croons to find more places to fly -- even to a funky falsetto on "The Ghost Inside."