It's hard enough to follow up a successful debut album, but try following up a boundary-breaking blockbuster of a debut album. The duo of Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse became a household name as Gnarls Barkley in 2006 with their frothy blend of pop, R&B, and......more
It's hard enough to follow up a successful debut album, but try following up a boundary-breaking blockbuster of a debut album. The duo of Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse became a household name as Gnarls Barkley in 2006 with their frothy blend of pop, R&B, and hip-hop. Two years on, THE ODD COUPLE stands up proudly alongside its predecessor. The basic recipe hasn't been drastically altered--Danger Mouse's skittering beats and snap-crackle-pop production still provide the perfect platform for Cee-Lo's mighty, soulful wail. If anything, the pair have refined and sharpened their approach to a razor's edge. The key is the way the musical flavors intersect: the Arthur Lee-meets-N.E.R.D. stroll of "Surprise," the jubilant jumble of gospel/soul/synthpop on "Going On," the Otis Redding-shares-a-treadmill-with-Outkast feel of the single "Run (I'm a Natural Disaster)." The cumulative effect is one of a group whose trick-bag has a never-ending supply of happy surprises. Take that, pessimistic sophomore-jinx predictors!
Marvin Gaye, OutKast, Dr. Octagon, Aceyalone, Isaac Hayes, Badly Drawn Boy, DJ Shadow, Al Green (Vocals), De La Soul, Funkadelic, The Juan MacLean, James Brown, D'Angelo, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Violent Femmes, Stevie Wonder, Wu-Tang Clan
Dr. Octagon, OutKast, Electric Guest, Mike Ladd, Ape School, MF Doom, Lyrics Born, Murs, Cibo Matto, Lily Allen, Mr. Lif, Sukia, Gorillaz, Quasimoto, Metro Area, Drop City Yacht Club, Sage Francis, Prefuse 73, Busdriver, Honeycut, Rjd2, E-40, Edan, J-Live, N.E.R.D., Daedelus, Janelle Monae, DJ Shadow, Brother Ali, Atmosphere
1 Charity Case
2 Who's Gonna Save My Soul
3 Going On
4 Run (I'm a Natural Disaster)
5 Would Be Killer
6 Open Book
9 No Time Soon
10 She Knows
11 Blind Mary
13 Little Better, A
Number of Discs:
Studio or Live:
Mono or Stereo:
39 : 6
Rolling Stone (p.60) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "'Charity Case' is Gnarls at their finest, with chain-gang grunts and gasps, tinkling chimes, spy-movie guitar and R&B organ..."
Spin (p.91) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[O]ne of the remarkable things about THE ODD COUPLE is its seamlessness....It's a parti-colored pop trip unlike anything else out there."
Entertainment Weekly (p.65) - "ODD is impeccably produced and impressively layered, an esoteric love letter to both of-the-moment studio trickery and bone-deep vintage soul." -- Grade: B+
Uncut (p.95) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Most of these tracks combine a seductive, upbeat surface with unsettling sonic textures beneath....The result is a milestone in modern psychedelic soul."
CMJ - "'Who's Gonna Save My Soul' is a haunting three-minute journey through sultry film noir alleys, replete with a melancholic plucked guitar..."
Vibe (p.69) - "The finished product has glorious results -- it sounds like an antique shop where dusty albums by Ennio Morricone, The 5th Dimension, and Reverent C.L. Franklin are always playing on three turntables."
Q (Magazine) (p.127) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[A] pop record at heart....The production seems brighter, sharper, with more emphasis on melody -- exemplified by the haunting 'Who's Gonna Save My Soul'..."
Blender (Magazine) (p.77) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Gnarls tap in to the lingering power of old soul music: the terse structures, the testifying vocals, the danceable beats and, especially, the full-fledged melodies..."
Clash (magazine) (p.113) - "'No Time Soon' is a cracked-magenta torch song of staggering beauty...and 'Who's Gonna Save My Soul' bursts clean out of the widescreen soul frame..."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.92) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[The album brings] a little bit of dark imagination into pop's mainstream....Cee-Lo's one of the most interesting hip-hop/R&B stars..."
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