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The Odd Couple

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Editors’ Notes

The odd couple here isn’t the pairing of producer Danger Mouse and his soul singing sidekick Cee-Lo; they work together in perfect concert. No, it’s the yin-yang of retro-futuristic grooves keeping things in flux and in question that’s the odd coupling maintaining Gnarls Barkley as an intriguing enterprise. The duo can never recreate the element of surprise that ignited their debut 2006’s St. Elsewhere, but they do apply an accomplished level of craft and knowing musical cues to their eclectic mixes. “Who’s Going to Save My Soul” evokes the early-‘70s Philly soul that comes with such a title. But “Going On” and “A Little Better” traverse the galaxies, tapping into space with kinetic beats that slow as they ground to earth. The album’s first single, “Run (I’m a Natural Disaster),” steps up the beats per minute to elicit an extra burst of excitement but the sedately-paced “Would-Be Killer” and “Open Book” are every bit as alluring and satisfying. Throw in the ‘60s pop undertow of “Whatever,” “Surprise” and “Blind Mary” and it’s clear Gnarls Barkley are interested in spanning history as much as writing a new chapter.

Customer Reviews

Difficult second album? Yeah, right.

I'm going to admit that I haven't been following the development of this album at all. For me, it came completely out of the blue with no warning. I didn't know it was coming. I didn't follow the hype. But I'm willing to speculate the expectations were near-astronomical due to St. Elsewhere's critical and commercial success. Well, after a single run-through of the tracks I can say that this album tops the first in several areas. It's more consistant. A couple tracks on the last album (Feng Shui, Transformer) were fluffy and superfluous. Not here. Every track is solid with it's own distinct flavour and groove. The lyrics are deeper and more meaningful without losing the playfulness of the last outing. And speaking of grooves. HOLY CRAP is this stuff catchy. I haven't stopped bobbing my head since I got it. So... get it.

Better Than 'St. Elsewhere'!

I thought it would be impossible for another album to create the same magic that flowed through my headphones as 'St. Elsewhere'. But I was wrong. The amazing duo of Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse has done it again. But this time better. I actually prefer this album to St. Elsewhere. It's darker, smarter and yet at the same time inviting. Here is a track by track review: 1. Charity Case: One of my favorite tracks on the album. Love the robotic backround voice. Really original and fun. Has some great lyrics like "Somebody's a liar, whoever said freedom was free!" 5/5 2. Who's Gonna Save My Soul: This is one of the darker tracks on the album. Really shows off Cee-Lo's vocals. 4.5/5 3. Going On: The first few seconds of this song are really frightening. But then all of a sudden it turns it on the funnest tracks on the album. Great Beat. 4.75/5 4.Run (I'm a Natural Disaster): One of my favorite tracks of the whole year. 5/5 5. Would Be Killer: This is such a dark song. It's like your in the mind of a psycopath who happens to be a killer. Amazing! 4.75/5 6.Open Book: Another dark track. It sounds like a army of people behind Cee-Lo. Not a favorite. But really original. 4/5 7.Whatever: Love this track! Cee-Lo sounds like a whinny 5 year old in this track. I say that in the best way possible. 4.5/5 8.Suprise: WARNING: This track will get stuck in your head and you'll find yourself doing some hideous dance or sing along. You have been pre warned. 4.5/5 9.No Time Soon: This track shows off the creativity of Danger Mouse. His beat basically takes center stage while Cee-Lo is like backround. A nice change. 4/5 10. She Knows: This track is skippable. It's not horrible. Far from it. But it's nothing amazing like the previous tracks. 3.5/5 11. Blind Mary: They jump back on their horse with this track. It is one of my favorites. 5/5 12. Neightbors: This is a pretty good track. It's not a favorite, but still pretty good. 4/5 13. A Little Better: A nice ending song. Makes you kinda sad because the album is coming to an end. 4/5 Overall, I feel this is a stronger effort than 'St. Elsewhere'. Their is only one medicore track on the whole thing! Buy the whole album. The album has supasssed my expectations. And I had REALLY high expectations for this album. Don't miss out on this ride called 'The Odd Couple'!

Great follow-up

It's possible that the lack of a solid leading single like Crazy allows this album to be a more cohesive effort than St. Elsewhere, because the listening experience isn't centered on one massive hit- every song gets its due. Tonally this album is different- instead of the more upbeat nature of their last album, we get a more laid-back, somewhat meditative set of tracks that sound something like the second coming of Al Green (which is awesome). Gnarls Barkley has put out a great follow-up, which is a tall order considering St. Elsewhere was the best album of 2006, and I hope they don't make us wait so long for number three.


Formed: 2003

Genre: Pop

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 their employees,...
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The Odd Couple, Gnarls Barkley
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