Gnarls Barkley "St. Elsewhere"
FORMAT | LP
Cee-Lo + DangerMouse = Gnarls Barkley
In 2006, Danger Mouse is King Midas of the music world. He has an uncanny knack for creating jagged, dense, frenzied beats and odd, eerie, vivid soundscapes that never compromise the music's natural flow. Meanwhile, rapper and singer Cee-Lo, a veteran of Atlanta's Dirty South scene, has never been one to be constrained by hip-hop conventions, and is a willing partner in adventure. The result is an intrepid psychedelic blend of pop, hip-hop, soul, and rock that consistently challenges and delights. It's no wonder that "Crazy," with it's modest riff, irresistible hook, and disarming opening line ("I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind") became a worldwide Internet sensation a full six months before the official release of St. Elsewhere. But that relatively simple soul-pop gem is the tamest track on this wide-ranging, often dark and introspective collaboration. (In fact, the duo considers Gnarls Barkley to be a wholly new creation, as opposed to a collaboration of existing artists.) "Everybody is somebody, but nobody wants to be themselves," Cee-Lo croons on "Who Cares?" He and Danger Mouse try very hard not to be their old selves as they creatively and confidently break down boundaries, but the brilliant cores of their musical personae-Cee-Lo's eccentric spiritual soul man and Danger's bold sonic explorer-remain. -Marc Greilsamer