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Monday, April 26, 2010


320 KBPS

With its cinematic origins The Odd Couple is the natural title for the second album by a pair who seem to spend as much time in wardrobe as the studio and whose recordings are often compared to film scores. Their greatest hit, 2006's "Crazy" was even built around a chunk of a spaghetti western soundtrack. Yet after the success of 2006's excellent St Elsewhere, the collaboration of singer Thomas "Cee-Lo Green" Callaway and producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton has become a permanent institution. The Odd Couple certainly lives up to expectations, and though there is no obvious smash to match "Crazy", it's a smoother affair than their often hyperactive debut, the unsettling "Open Book" aside. Highlights include the excellent, agitated lead-off single "Run", a smart slice of off kilter pop-soul, and its most obvious successor, the instant classic "Surprise". "Going On" manages to weld an eighties pomp-pop introduction to a surprisingly vulnerable Cee-Lo performance while the plaintive, bluesy "Who's Gonna Save My Soul" catches him at his most soulful. "Whatever" is a cute, rather bratty sixties pastiche halfway to Britpop (though no Englishman ever used the expression "y'all") while the warped bubblegum pop of "Blind Mary" and the more traditionally ominous "Would Be Killer" are opposite sides of the same twisted coin. Informed by rap and dance, but occupying their own unique genre, Gnarls Barkley continue to soundtrack the movie that, so far, exists only in their heads.

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
7. Whatever
8. Surprise
9. No Time Soon
10. She Knows
11. Blind Mary
12. Neighbors
13. A Little Better

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