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St. Elsewhere

Gnarls Barkley

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iTunes Review

Gnarls Barkley gained immediate notice as their single “Crazy” ascended the British charts on the strength of an overwhelming download frenzy. Its digital distribution showed the music industry where its future lies. The music, however, is schooled in a traditional past. Producer Danger Mouse (Gorillaz, The Grey Album) and former Goodie Mob singer Cee-Lo Green may use futuristic tools to attain their sound, slicing up beats and juxtaposing contrasting samples with freeform glee, but their main appeal lies in the neo-soul that roots these songs in a Sly Stone-Curtis Mayfield-Gamble and Huff tradition. “Crazy” is the obvious touchstone, but “Smiley Faces” is a close runner-up, sporting a vivid cinematic vibe. “Just a Thought” sounds as if it was taken straight out of the late-60s and earl ’70s and remixed to modern effect. The Violent Femmes cover “Gone Daddy Gone” is an odd and seemingly random detour here, further evidence of the duo’s eclectic tendencies. Better are the goofy, monster mashes – “The Boogie Monster,” “Necromancer” – where it’s as if Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (“I Put a Spell On You”) was being rocketed into the future.

Customer Reviews

Here's some history for those who gave two stars or less...

Cee-Lo is actually Andre 3000's mentor and reason why Andre 3000 went forward with his quirky side of Speaker Boxx/The Love Below. All I'm saying is that you are incorrect to say that it is an Outkast rip off because Cee-Lo is actually responsible for this sound. Moving on, I understand why some people don't like the album, it's very, very, VERY expiremental. I understand that most people won't get it. Just give it a chance and maybe you'll see the light. One more thing, if you're a rock fan, please do not suggest listening to rock bands just because you don't appreciate hip hop music. I don't rain on your parade and say hip hop is awesome and rock can go to hell. I love all types of music, just show some respect and only write a review if you have an intellegent opinon on the music to offer.

Not a Single Bad Track

Trying to describe the sound and style of Gnarls Barkley's premiere album is impossible - it's a bit of everything, from Soul to British Pop, but in the end it defies description. Soulful singer Cee-lo Green teams up with reknowned and highly talented producer DJ Danger Mouse to produce what could possibly be 2006's best album. From a high-energy beginning with Go-Go Gadget Gospel, things never lose steam as the album moves into Crazy, unarguably the album's strongest and most popular song. The rest of St. Elsewhere's outings, from the seemingly Brit-rock influenced 'Gone Daddy Gone' and head-bopping 'Smiley Faces', to smooth hip-hop groove 'Feng Shui' and the catchy 'Who Cares?', are incredibly solid and catchy. One would expect nothing less from a collaboration of these two incredibly talented minds - Cee-lo brings an undeniably cool and rich sound to the album with his clean, always on-tune delivery, and Danger Mouse's tracks are airtight, melodic, and far too distinct to mistake for anyone else's. So what are you waiting for? Click 'Buy Album' and give yourself the gift of St. Elsewhere.

Totally Innovative & Fresh

Don't be fooled by Cee-Lo- this album is all about the Mouse! Gnarls Barkley is a project that these two genuises have had going since before DM got famous with the Grey Album. It's made up of songs that Dangermouse wrote and composed, and Cee-Lo is just the voice that sings them. To all you kids who expected a whole album of bissful pop like "Crazy," prepare to be suprised. Every song is good in its own way (kind of like Gorillaz.) Here it is, track-by-track: 1. Go-Go Gadget Gospel- Fast, tight, and hyper, yet still soulful and strong. The key change makes it a little odd, but this track has grown on me a lot. 2. Crazy- A great, great original pop tune- a little bit of R&B, a little bit of soul, a little bit of rock- something to please everyone! 3. St. Elsewhere- Slow, sad, and droopy. It kind of reminds me of a song you'd listen to on a rainy day. It also is kind of like the ballads of early soul- Al Green, etc. 4. Gone Daddy Gone- Quite possibly the most innovative and weird cover since the White Stripes rockin' to Dolly Parton's "Jolene." The original by the Violent Femmes wasn't even this rockin'- it was played mostly by a freakin' marimba, people! 5. Smiley Faces- My favorite track. This has a very classic soul/R&B feel, and it's confirmed as the next single. If you're only going to get 2 tracks, get this and "Crazy." 6. The Boogie Monster- Upon first listen, this track sounds kind of weak, but as the song progresses it become quite strong (and it's worth listening for the joke at the end) 7. Feng Shui- Funny and goofy rapping over a kung fu background- just short enough to not grow tiring. Everything must compliment the feng shui! 8. Just A Thought- Moody and melancholy melodies and guitars fill the air as Cee-Lo signs about depression and suicide. But cutting between the lyrics are some classic Dangermouse drums- random, fast, and loud fills that would be impossible if not for Pro Tools. 9. Transformer- Super-hyper and funky, and making clever use of voice effects. Great horn sample, too. 10. Who Cares?- The track starts off with an intruging ska/R&B riff with Cee-Lo singing some oxymorons that make you want to listen to it again. The chorus comes and you're taken back to the 70's by just one sample- a Barry White-ish "But who cares?" voice. 11. Online- I think this song is about MySpace. Great bassline and drum fills, this song starts out funky but turns into a freaked-out loneliness track. 12. Necromancer- Creepy as heck, I almost want to skip this track simply because of how disturbing the lyrics are. A classic Dangermouse-sounding track... uneven melodies switching between half-and-double time over those awesome drums we all love. 13. Storm Coming- The first GB song, the original was recorded before the Grey Album. This is another awesome, powerful track featuring guitar, strings, a choir and drums- lots of drums. This song is a lighting bolt in the storm of St. Elsewhere. 14. The Last Time- So now that this awesomely trippy album is over with what do we do? We turn it out with a funky Prince-like party jam! Woohoo! This album kicks from start to finish. It is great to hear innovation in R&B. NOTE*- Any comparisons to OutKast are valid, because Cee-Lo was the true mentor to Andre 3000 and the first person to turn a rap voice into a singing croon. Also, these guys are not rock, or alternative- they're R&B, but iTunes can't seem to get that right. If you're angry because this new, fresh music is getting out and you don't know what to call it, tough luck- this is how R&B was MEANT to sound like. And I have to admit, I laughed when people thought Gnarls Barkley was one singer/sonqwriter.

Biography

Formed: 2003

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The Gnarls Barkley collaboration didn't bring producer Danger Mouse to the top of the British charts for the first time, but it did mark his debut as the pilot of a hit record. Mouse, born Brian Burton, first gained the ears of discriminating listeners when he concocted The Grey Album, a bootleg that mashed the vocals from The Black Album by Jay-Z with music samples courtesy of The White Album by EMI flagship the Beatles. Although the label posted a cease-and-desist order, one of...
Full Bio
St. Elsewhere, Gnarls Barkley
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