💽 Album: St. Elsewhere (2006) 🎨 Artist: Gnarls Barkley 🌟 Rating: 8.5 💿 Top Tracks: Go-Go Gadget Gospel, Crazy, Smiley Faces, Feng Shui, Storm Coming
St. Elsewhere is the debut album my American soul duo, Gnarls Barkley. Made up of singer/songwriter CeeLo Green and producer Danger Mouse, Gnarls Barkley could be easily swept under the carpet for kinda being one-hit wonders. Their hit Crazy, was quite literally crazy popular, being the first song to go to number 1 in the UK charts purely on downloads and staying at the prime position for 9 weeks. But the duo’s 2006 effort is definitely worth time and attention, honestly it even surprised me in terms of quality and just overall great songs.
Most people, or at least more people, will be more familiar with CeeLo Green, also likely to confuse Gnarls Barkley for solely being him. But for me, the true mastermind and person at the heart of the album is Danger Mouse. Having produced probably one of my favourite albums, Demon Days (by Gorillaz), and having also produced for The Black Keys and also for one of his other projects, Broken Bells (which is also great), he’s a very, very talented producer and along with Green’s vocals he creates a crazy world full of joy, absurdity and melancholy.
St. Elsewhere feels like it has a lot in common with OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/Love Below, but maybe not quite as avant garde. It’s rich, luscious soul music infused with hip hop and psychedelic rock, it’s a crazy mix that keeps on delivering. It’s vibrant, dark and energetic - bursting with different sounds and concepts. Gnarls Barkley are an almost perfect match.
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