Sunday, March 23, 2008

Rhythmic Review: Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple

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The dynamic duo is back with their follow up to the extremely successful debut St. Elsewhere, that garnered critical acclaim from scholars, D-boys, blacks, whites and everyone in between. With their sophomore album The Odd Couple hitting stores this week, the speculation and curiosity for the album is reaching its peak. "Is the album as weird as the first?", "Does it suffer from sophomore jinx?", "Have they sold out completely and let Timbaland produce the album?". Well the answers are NO, and thank God to the last question, ABSOLUTELY NOT to the second, and YES to the first (and I'm loving every minute of it). Odd Couple is a continuation from St. Elsewhere and with the brilliant formula Danger mouse and Ceelo used the first time around, it would only be logical not to fix it.

The Grammy award winning group that consist of Danger mouse, who's still working his creative genius behind the boards as a producer, and Cee-lo on vocals. If you were a fan of, admired or had an undying love for St. Elsewhere than this album will solidify your love of this group. Odd Couple isn't a carbon copy of St. Elsewhere by any means, it just merely takes creative concepts and sounds, that are complimented by Cee-lo's vocal intensity, from the last album and displays it all on this album, see "Open Book".

Pop influences plucked from the 50s and 60s, that are very reminiscent of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, are merged with soul sounds of that era and crashes smack dab into the Hip-Hop heavy, electronica experimentation of now BEAUTIFULLY. On songs like "Surprise" this musical collision course of sounds is the most apparent, while "Whatever" gives you a feeling of what the Beach Boys would sound like if they were around now and the group consisted of experimental stoners. Unlike the first album, the upbeat schizophrenic moments are toned down abit, think alittle less "Go Go Gadget Gospel" and alittle more "St. Elsewhere", the song that is, from their first album.

One of the MANY stand out tracks on the album "A Little Better" evokes a cocktail of mixed emotions. The head nod inducing beat is intoxicating and addicting all at once, the track is 3:07 long as you wish it were an experience that would never end. Its a perfect closing to an album that takes you on an adventure dealing with such topics as having a relationship with a blind woman that loves based on inner beauty, "Blind Mary," to the emotional confession and disparity on "Who's gonna save my Soul", which is set to be the groups second single.

Listening to This album can only be summed up as one word, an experience. With the textures this album display, you get a strong admiration for this duo and their knack for putting upbeat, fun, electronic, hip-hop beats to dark lyrics and menacing vocals. The juxtaposition of emotions and sounds displayed through out this album is gutsy and just plain fun to listen to, never knowing when or where a turn will come.

A post on Gnarls website earlier this month read "With the shifting seasons, furtive romantic entanglements and fierce college basketball rivalries, the latter half of March can be confusing. People need to be soothed and inspired now." That quote couldn't be any truer with tracks like the utterly genius first single "Run" making it virtually impossible not to be inspired and "Charity Case" being as soothing as it wants, these tracks all come together effortlessly and proves that this Odd Couple is more of a perfect pair.

I give The Odd Couple an A

IN STORES NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Agree with me? let me know! if u absolutely disagree and think im on something? let me kno that too! hit up the comment section and share!!!!...remember, sharing is caring!

1 comment:

QH said...

I'm not to heavy into GB, but they seem to have hit a nerve with their wacky blend of urban and alternative music. Nice to see that this music gets people out their buying it, eh?-QH