NPR reports the album, which is a collaboration with Sparklehorse and filmmaker David Lynch among others, has been shelved by DM’s label, EMI.

The album was initially going to be packaged with a book of photos taken by David Lynch. But now there’s word that the music may never be officially released at all.

An unnamed spokesperson for Danger Mouse says that “due to an ongoing dispute with EMI” the book of photographs will “now come with a blank, recordable CD-R. All copies will be clearly labeled: ‘For legal reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.’” When contacted, EMI declined to comment and wouldn’t confirm whether the label is even involved in the project.

Having a record shelved isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. Famous albums initially rejected by label execs include ’ “R.I.P.,” The Beach Boys’ “Landlocked,” Karen Carpenter’s solo album, Daryl Hall’s “Sacred Songs,” Prince’s “Black Album” and Sheryl Crow’s self-titled debut.

Some of those albums, or at least parts of them, eventually found their way to the public. What’s different here is Dark Night has already been released. Sort of. As of right now, you can listen to the entire thing at

And, as NPR points out, someone has gone to a lot of trouble to promote the CD which features appearances by James Mercer (The Shins), The Flaming Lips, Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Jayson Lytle (Grandaddy), Julian Casablancas (The Strokes), Frank Black, Iggy Pop, Nina Persson (The Cardigans, A Camp), Suzanne Vega, Vic Chesnutt and Scot Spillane (Neutral Milk Hotel, The Gerbils).

It all started back in March, at the South by Southwest music festival and conference. A number of us on the NPR Music team had noticed strange posters around downtown Austin, Texas, that read Dark Night of the Soul. They looked like movie posters and had David Lynch’s name on them, alongside names of some of our favorite artists, like Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse, Vic Chesnutt, Jason Lytle and more. We wondered if it was some sort of musical film.

Soon after our Austin trip, NPR Music received copies of the mysterious posters in the mail. No return address. Someone was messing with us. I tried to find out more, but had zero success. Then, weeks later, I finally got a note from a publicist with all the details we’d been waiting for.

So why the sudden change of heart? Nobody’s talking, but the message to fans on the album’s official Web site says Danger Mouse “is unable to release the recorded music for Dark Night of the Soul without fear of being sued by EMI.”

I’ve listened to the album a couple of times at and I can’t figure out what might have the label so spooked by Dark Night – except maybe the fact that it’s just as stunning as Gnarls Barkley’s debut album, if not more so.

It’s possible the label sees the project as a threat to GB, but that’s pretty stupid because Danger Mouse has collaborated with just about everyone on the planet since 2006’s St. Elsewhere and none of that seemed to be a problem.

For now, fans will just have to content themselves with the limited-edition, “100+ page book” available at – minus the music of course.

Read NPR’s complete coverage of Dark Night of the Soul and listen to the entire album here.

Visit for more info on the project.