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Rome is a spaghetti western-inspired album by the producer and Gnarls Barkley member Danger Mouse, and the Italian film composer Daniele Luppi. It was recorded during sporadic sessions over a five-year period at Rome's Forum Studios and was inspired by the film soundtrack work of Ennio Morricone. The instrumentation was done mainly by musicians who played on the original Ennio Morricone scores.
Jack White sings on three tracks on the Rome album: "The Rose With The Broken Neck," "Two Against One" and "The World." Danger Mouse said to Q magazine of The White Stripes frontman: "I first met him while on tour with Gnarls Barkley and played him some tracks from Rome. Then a couple of years later, I realized he'd be perfect for the project. I wrote the music, he wrote the words. He completely got the project and his songs fit perfectly."
The male vocal part was still unwritten when inspiration struck: "I remember hearing one of The White Stripes' songs on the radio," recalled Luppi to NME. I called Brian (Danger Mouse) immediately and said 'Hey, this guy would be fantastic for the record.' And strangely he was crossing roads with Jack on tour at the time, so it all made sense."
Jack White discussed his unconventional approach to recording his contributions in a trailer for the album: "I rode around in a car listening to the instrumentals, and I had a handheld recorder and I sang whatever came to mind…to all the songs," he said. "And it's the ones that spoke to me more and more as I kept driving around, and finding phrases that meant something to me, and vocal melodies that meant something to me, and [I] built it up that way."
The music video was directed by Chris Milk, who has also worked with Kanye West, Arcade Fire, and Cee Lo Green. It features hand drawn animation by artist Anthony Francis Sheppard, the director-animator of Adult Swim. The clip is linked to plans to develop the Rome project into a theatrical feature film and tells the backstory of the movie's antagonist.
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