Sound: A psychedelic, vintage-flavored mix of soul, funk and garage pop with modern electronic and hip hop touches (though those modern touches are less noisy and chaotic this time around). Cee-Lo’s raspy, cathartic vocals deliver somber and psychotic lyrics that approximate a therapy session as the vibe jumps from spiritual and powerful to ominous and creepy.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Run (I’m A Natural Disaster)” (Top 20 Songs of 2008 Candidate); “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul?” (Top 20 Songs of 2008 Candidate); “Surprise”
Medium Rotation tracks: “Charity Case”; “Whatever”; “Going On”; “A Little Better”; “Neighbors”
Recommended: There’s nothing quite as great as “Crazy” on here, but “Run” and “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul?” aren’t too far off. And The Odd Couple is much more consistent and accomplished than Gnarls Barkley’s debut St. Elsewhere. Plus, it sounds like a true collaborative effort from a duo that’s worked together before, rather than a one-off, phoned-in side project. Though Gnarls Barkley are clearly inspired by the ‘60s and ‘70s, they’re creating some of the boldest new music out there now.
Grade: A- (Top 20 Albums of 2008 Candidate)