Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple

Gnarls fuckin' Barkley. Back again for more. The truly unusual pairing of hip-hop/soul crooner Cee-Lo Green and funky DJ Danger Mouse has returned with a follow-up to their hugely successful first album St. Elsewhere. If you don't know who these two characters are by now, you may live under a rock (sorry, Mom). The single off the first album "Crazy" was the hit single of 2006 and spawned cover, after cover, after cover. Usually, collaborations of this magnitude and success are rarely repeated. This was obviously not the case for Gnarls Barkley. You'd think that going back into the studio again they'd put out something even more gnarley and crazy (sorry, that was awful). You'd think they'd want to test the limits of where their influences could take them. You'd think that the second album would be just as good or better than the first. If you thought these things would be true, well, you'd be wrong.

The Odd Couple should have been titled St. Elsewhere 1.5. It shows very little progression, and sounds mostly the same as the first album without the super smash hit. These facts are indisputable when you listen to the albums close together. One flows into the other. Back and forth. This is not to say the album is no good. The album is actually quite solid. It's better than much of the other drivel that is pressed onto a CD. With that said, when I was done listening to The Odd Couple I thought to myself they're good enough to just go through the motions and get away with it. Most people will be sufficiently happy with listening to this new album. There are catchy shows, some great beats and repeatable melodies. But don't you think they could have push a little more? They're massively creative artists content to just kinda cruise along. That is a waste; even if their bank accounts have exploded. I'm not sure you can blame one or the other for concocting a record that is almost the same as it's predecessor. But you have to wonder whether or not they'll go back to the well in another couple years for the completion of the trilogy with the working title of Strange Bedfellows.

Gnarls Barkley - Run (I'm a Natural Disaster)

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