In 2006, Cee-Lo Green and Danger Mouse came together as Gnarls Barkley and released St. Elsewhere. The duo put forth a fresh new sound that struck a beautiful balance between rock and hip-hop. Nearly two years later, they are back with The Odd Couple. But instead of succumbing to a sophomore slump and releasing a collection of tracks that sound like the rest of main stream’s crap, Gnarls Barkley has put together something that surpasses their debut.
The single “Run” was leaked out in January and officially released Feb. 5, but it does not encompass the entire feeling of the album. It is a quality track, but much of the album has a slower feel to it. Instead of working against that quality it manages to boost it. As with the original album, the production value is tremendous.
“Charity Case” gets things rolling and sets the emotion for most of the album.
There is plenty of emotion to be heard throughout the course of a listen-through. Barkley’s second single, “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul,” has a depressing-yet-honest feel to it that makes it incredibly enjoyable. But the duo is also able to convey hard emotions at a faster pace as well with “Whatever,” one of the standout tracks on the album. An anthem of angst, Green belts out “I don’t have anything to say/I want everything to go my way/Shut up, mom it is not OK,” something many can relate to on at least a small level. Despite its harsh emotion, there is a fun vibe to it that will make you want to grab a drum set and play along with it.
It is slightly hard to describe The Odd Couple, though. The album does so many things right that you just want to slap a “GOOD” label on it and leave it there. It is quite the versatile album as well; one of those albums you can sit back and throw on, immersing yourself in the heavy beats of Danger Mouse and the raspy stylings of Cee-Lo. You lose yourself in the music, the quintessential sign of a great album. But on the other side of things, The Odd Couple sucks you in enough to get you up on your feet and really enjoying it.
If you enjoyed St. Elsewhere, there should be nothing stopping you from enjoying The Odd Couple. Its new sound keeps up the genius of Gnarls Barkley, but the mixture of a familiar feel is what will really keep you coming back to the album again and again. There are a couple lacking points in the album points, namely “Would Be Killer,” but on the whole the album is definitely worth a purchase. Our immediate download recommendations: “Whatever,” “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul.”