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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon March 25, 2008
Gnarls Barkley return with their aptly titled sophomore album "The odd couple", delivering more of the same stuff that was on their smash hit Grammy winning platinum debut.

It is filled with the same kooky, psychedelic funk/pop, with lyrics touching on paranoia, mental anguish, and other dark aspects of human nature. While it may not contain another "Crazy", all 13 tracks are brilliant, from opening, sunny "Charity case" (with brief bursts of lovely harmonies), to the morose piano tinkled lament "Who's gonna save my soul".

"Going on" starts off deceptively almost country-ish, before morphing into an uptempo clap-fest with eerie harmonies against an organ back drop. Lead-off single "Run" is a sunny retro sounding song (a bit like Outkast's "Hey ya") featuring Cee-Lo wailing "Run children, run for your life" with chilling urgency.

Returning to sombre is the atmospheric "Would be killer". Starting with bird sounds is "Open book" before disjointed drums and swirling strings sweep in. Next is the psychedelic Beatles-esque "Whatever", the surf rock/dub feel of "Surprise", the atmospheric "No time soon" with skittery beats, the lo-fi sounding "She knows", and the Motown sounding "blind Mary".

The chilled trip hop "Neighbour" deals with an envious neighbour, while closing cut "A little better" is a brooding Blues-ey song dealing with mental anguish, but with a hopeful outlook (I love the echoing ending).

Each of the 13 tracks averages at about 3 minutes, and so cut right to the chase. For those who loved "St. Elsewhere" (and not just the "Crazy" single), you will love this. A fitting follow up.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 18, 2008
"I got some bad news this morning
Which in turn made my day..."

If you've seen the video for "Run (I'm A Natural Disaster)," the first single from Atlanta based Gnarls Barkley's second LP, The Odd Couple, you'll get a sense of the juxapositions that run through the rest of the densely layered, emotionally complex album: 60's and 70's pop and soul bumping up against modern hip-hip and electronica; breezy, upbeat sounding music over dark, even menacing sounding lyrics and vocals. If the result is occasionally disorienting, it's also almost unfailingly intoxicating and just plain fun to hear. Even though the strongest material is weighted towards the first half, The Odd Couple is head and shoulders a better album than St. Elsewhere, and that album wasn't too shabby. Here's hoping that Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse, the two talented musicians behind Gnarls Barkley, are just beginning to build a body of work for their band. Standout cuts: "Charity Case," "Going On," "Run [I'm A Natural Disaster]" and "Surprise."
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2008
I've been living with this CD for about a fortnight now and while I absolutely love it, while I strongly believe that Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo Green are one of the most innovative and exciting duos in music right now, and while this album offers much of what I was hoping for - fresh, modern music, soulful vocals set to solid beats, and deep, introspective lyrics - I found that it took a little longer than St. Elsewhere to get into. Nothing jumped out and grabbing me by the b**s like a handful of the tunes on "St. Elsewhere" did and I initially struggled to see how some reviewers could consider this the better album.

But, slowly and eventually it came to me, much like a celestial revelation. The more I listened, the more I got it. This album is absolutely incredible. Take songs like "Charity Case" (love the backing vocals by Sierra Simone) and "Who's Gonna Save My Soul", (rumoured to be the second single; Cee-Lo definitely has one of the most soulful voices around at the moment and just check out the opening lyrics: "I got some bad news this mornin'/ Which in turn made my day/ When this someone spoke, I listened/ All of a sudden had less and less to say"). Once I REALLY started to listen, both made me think, ah, yes, this is just like old times! This is what Gnarls Barkley are all about!

Then there's the incredibly danceable "Going On", the manic lead single, "Run (I'm A Natural Disaster)" and to be honest, so it goes right up to the final track, "A Little Better". I do have favourites though: All of the aforementioned, "Whatever", the western-styled "Surprise", "Blind Mary" (another strong contender for a single, methinks) and "Neighbors". That's more or less every song on the CD.

So the answer is yes. In my opinion, and without any doubt, this IS a much better product than "St Elsewhere". What I'm not so sure about is whether it will have the same mass appeal. This one requires a bit more thought and most people just don't have the patience these days.

I'm just saying.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2008
If you didn't like the last album, there isn't much here that will change your mind. If you *did* like it -- The Odd Couple is even better. The first five tracks, in fact, are so good that the middle suffers, but only by comparison. For any other artist of this kind, even the weakest material on The Odd Couple would be a welcome addition.

And that's the other thing -- these guys don't really sound like anybody else. If you pinned me down, I'd say it's like Beck, The Gorillaz, and DJ Shadow got together in their prime to make an album. But instead of needing three bands to catalyze that sound, Gnarls Barkley only needs two people. These are some extremely talented guys.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon March 23, 2008
After their amazing St. Elsewhere back in 06, Gnarls Barkley came back with an AMAZING album that consolidates them within a space where Cee-Lo's soulful voice blends in perfectly with the loops and beats of DJ Danger Mouse.

Demanding fans who learned to love the unbelievable work in songs such as the now-classic "Crazy" will not be disappointed: the appropriately titled "The Odd Couple" has a slight emphasis on the power of Cee Lo's vocal floating in a space full of 60's nostalgia with the unmistakable touch of Danger Mouse's work crafting the perfect balance with a sound that has earned them a permanent spot among the most creative acts around these days.

This album is my first choice to the list of Best Music of 2008.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2008
The exprimental 2006 collaboration between R&B singer/Rapper Cee-Lo (ex Goodie Mob) and Producer Danger Mouse who worked with Gorrillaz and the world's most reserved Rapper/Producer MF DOOM (who always wears a mask not to reveal his face) proved successful. The odd couple known as Gnarls Barkley scored one of that years biggest hits with "Crazy" from debut album St. Elsewhere The music they delivered was odd, witty, playful and very exprimental with samples from all kinds of genres. The paranoid hit "Crazy" had sampled some obscure Spaghetti Western from the 60's and further proved what you can do if you have fantasy, humour and alot of time on your hands. The rest of the album had it's moments aswell even if the oddity that you found on song number 12 was a bit too much in my opinion. However, "Crazy" became the only hit from "St Elsewhere" and the album eventually sold almost 4 million copies, far more then they ever thought it would do. Gnarls Barkley had no other choise then to get back into the studio and record it's successor, "The Odd Couple" and it's released just two years after.

Before getting into their new album let's start by saying that the whole point with their debut album was to explore new territory, not only musically but also within themselves and to have fun during the process. And "St Elsewhere" succeeded with finding new angles of two very strong personalities and also to make remarkable music that was both unique and challenging. That "Crazy" became such a big hit and closely associated with them was just a bonus and perhaps at times even a liability. On their sophmore effort they don't try to re-create "Crazy" nor making overly commercial radio singles, instead they dig deeper into their creative minds and the end result is something rather diffrent with alot of dark midtempo's that are innovative but take more listens to enjoy. Having said that, the album is still unpredictable, charming and funny at it's best and should atleast make some people content. The album gets a good start with "Charity Case", a beautiful slowtempo with distorted female vocals. Next up is "Who's Gonna Save My Soul" a somber slowtempo which feature a very powerful performnce by Cee-Lo but the song itself is dark and depressing. "Going On" is most likely about dying. It got this very catchy electro beat sound on it's hook and I'd say it's one of the best and most engaging songs. "Run" is the closest you got to "Crazy" cause it's the only uptempo this album offers. It got this 60's rock feeling mix with dance music and surely got the hit potential aswell. The lyrics go like "You can't win child,
/We've all tried too/ You've been lied to/ It's already inside you
/Either you run right now, or you best get ready to die" I'm not sure wether the songs refers to running away from danger or run to the floor to dance? That's the brilliance of GB's unpredictable lyrics. "Would Be Killer" on the other hand is just to dark and obscure when Cee-Lo sings he's some kind of evil-minded serial killer. Infact, he sound rather evil here. "Open Book" feature tribal drums and a hard electro beat and plenty of shouts of desperation. Another really odd number. On the 60 pop esque "Whatever" Cee-Lo sounds whiny for the major part and sings about a lonewolf kid that doesn't have any friends. The song is actually whatever to me. Cee-Lo offers some of his best lyrics on "Surprise", yet another 60's sounding pop/soul song. The lyrics here are ironic but that's not surprising?.

Breakup song, or is it about death again? "No Time Soon" is exprimental and melancholy but this time it works rather well cause of it's beautiful sound. "She Knows" seems to be a love song or something in that way, it's slow but forgettable. I couldn't quite figure out wether "Blind Mary" is a love song about a blind girl or to a certain Mary Jane. It's anyone's guess. I found the lyrics "She's my friend she doesn't judge me/ She has no idea I'm ugly/ So I have absolutely nothing to hide/because I'm so much prettier inside" to be rather funny actually. Aparently Cee-Lo got issues with his neighbours aswell on the next song called "Neighbour", when everything was already going wrong atleast he could have been more lucky with this. The song is once again sang in a melancholy and somewhat sarcastic mood. "A Little Better" seems to be about dying too. Not too remarkable, but it's sang in a faster way then most songs here. With 13 songs it closes the album.

Overall, Some people are gonna love this and say it's ultimately one of the most exprimental, creative and original albums of the year, while others will say it's too exprimental, too somber and lacking from the obvious big hit single. At times this album is absolutely brilliant and it feels more coherant then their first one with it's themes and sound, on other occasions it's just to "artistic" and there are a few songs that could have been left out. Some more uptempo's wouldn't hurt and I miss Cee-Lo rapping. But the final outcome of this album isn't surprising me alot, Gnarls Barkley doesn't compromise nor settle for pretty radio hits. This project is all about exprimentation and getting the best out of themselves. And they suceed with that for the major part. However, It does have it's points with rich sound, smart lyrics and alot versatility in Cee-Lo's vovals. If you feel like this is what you asked for from the start, you should give it a try but people that expected them to make more songs like "Crazy" should be forewarned. Final rate 3'5. I certainly hope to hear more from them in the future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2008
Ever since Cee-Lo was still rap-singing for Goodie Mob I loved this guys voice and great ability to flow. Having bought "Soul Food" and "Still Standing" from Goodie Mob it was clear to me that "Gnarls Barkley" at least needed a chance to earn respect. Their debut "St. Elsewhere" was cool and very successful worldwide, as is their sophmore release "The Odd Couple". Standout tracks are the first four plus "Surprise", which I absolutely love. Congrats to Cee-lo and Danger Mouse for putting it down once again. Check it out for yourself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2008
The Odd couple is like a trip to the past. Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse combine 50's pop rock with soul and create an original sound. The songs are just as well written, just as well produced, but the overall quality as a whole is not as breathtaking as St. Elsewhere. Even though the album doesn't quite measure up to the original, it is still a must-have for any Gnarls fan.

1. Charity Case- A This track is a perfect transition between the albums. It's jazzy, it's soulful, and it's well written. "Are you needing me like I'm needing you" Cee-Lo is a genius.

2. Who's gonna save my soul- A+ More of Danger Mouse. Although he is my favorite producer, he doesn't really make a huge spot in this album. This track however is a great example of Mouse's talent.

3. Going On- B Not my favorite. It's a decent song, but nothing special.

4. Run(I'm a Natural Disaster)- B- Out of all the songs on the album, I don't know why this is the single. It's not amazing production or vocals. Sometimes I just don't understand.

5. Would Be Killer- C weak production. Weak Chorus. It's ok but you won't think of this song when you think of this album.

6. Open Book- A Epic! Really different. I don't know where these guys come up with their material.

7. Whatever- A+ One of the best tracks on the cd. Such a great idea! It really inspires you to throw away your worries.

8. Suprise- A+ The 50's pop rock track. I love this song. The chorus is Fantastic!

9. No time Soon- A- Good song. Kinda sad. Sad songs are sometimes the best songs.

10. She Knows- C Sounds like an intermission. No chorus really. Not much of a song.

11. Blind Mary- A+ Such a great story! I thought all creativity in the world was lost, but these guys have magic.

12. Neighbors- A++ Best song on the CD. I love the singing throughout the whole song. You know you truly love a song when you want to hear every part and not just the chorus.

13. A little Better- B+ I usually hate exiting tracks. This one is quite appropriate.

If you enjoy the least bit of Gnarls Barkley, then pick up this album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2008
Back again, Gnarls Barkley cannot fail to deliver. Don't be surprised, though, if it takes more than one listen to get hooked. It happened on the second for me. Why, you ask? To me, it's because this is much more of a psychologically charged album than its feel-good predecessor. As exposed in St. Elsewhere, the feel of the soul-infused craziness moves deeper to a more manic state of soulful agitation in the Odd Couple. It may be a metaphor of the GB persona as there is a Jekyll & Hyde feel to this album; GB has descended from a self-aware state of craziness to a musical personality that seems to border on insanity, an ego uncontrolled and exploring its limitations.

There is a definite progression in the songs from "Charity Case" all the way to "Surprise". If one can get beyond the groove, the precisely orchestrated beats, you might just feel the transformation. Lyrically, the Odd Couple is kinda creepy, albeit gloriously set to music. In this way it's more subtle than St. Elsewhere, but its depth is piercing. It's about the pain of being a self-described natural disaster, an ugly wretch, an open book for all to see, though possessing a final chapter yet to be written. There's a whole lot of pain, but a whole lot of soul here as expected, too. Danger Mouse is a genius, and Cee-Lo has got to be the reincarnation of Otis Redding. A perfect match.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2008
I loved the first album (there were a few tracks I liked more then others) and this album did the same thing for me. There were a few songs that I liked, but I wouldn't put on repeat, and others that I've listened to over and over. Some of the songs follow the same feel and patterns as the first album - others are different. Overall, definitely worth the price and a good one to have.
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