Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

Gnarls Barkley “St. Elsewhere” Review

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

Stemming from a remix collaboration between the two, Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo present Gnarls Barkley as a collaborative experience far from either of the members’ brands. Danger Mouse recalls that “it’s not so much a Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse record as the two of us together being something else. There was kind of a different thing going on with us as we were doing this record. The combination of the two of us made (it) something other than just the obvious. So we gave it a name, and that’s what it was.” (Pitchfork) Along the road to St. Elsewhere the duo found a few musicians here and there, including acclaimed session drummer Eric Bobo and L.A. trumpeter Chris Tedesco among others, and found a way to electronify soul.

It’s increasingly difficult to initially look beyond “Crazy” and peak a little deeper into the album and its intricacies, but one cannot forget what took the group to such great heights. “Crazy,” St. Elsewhere’s lead single, was the first ever single to go #1 in the UK strictly from legal online downloads, and has recently tied Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” as it has reached it’s 9th straight week at #1. As mentioned, the album is rather atypical for both musicians, and the variety in songwriting and production shows this to be true. Through taking on a schizophrenic song writing approach which rages from the disturbingly sweet, downbeat “Necromancer” to the near jungle “Transformer,” Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse show that Gnarls Barkley is definitely something all unto itself.

It’s hard to imagine what one can mean when explaining an album’s lyrics as stunning, but… with Gnarls Barkley Cee-Lo takes on one half of this new persona and creates a unique set of history and thoughts for a character; stunning. Danger Mouse follows suit in creating a set of emotions which relate to the lyrics in such a way that album comes off as more of a testimonial than a set of songs. If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing a Gnarls Barkley performance, ranging anywhere from The Top of the Pops to Late Night with Conan O’Brien, you’ll know that this transformation of character is real. Each day offers new thoughts and each performance offers itself as an avenue to communicate just how unique a pair…em, soul Gnarls Barkley is.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]