Monday, April 24, 2006

Gone, daddy, gone...

While I found myself beguiled by the controversial, built-in masterpiece of The Grey Album, mostly I find myself annoyed by Danger Mouse's latest dubious celebrity. Not because he's not talented, but because his Hot Topic/Adult Swim clamorings would have him reach geekified demigod status when, in fact, there are much better men behind the board than himself. So, I was quite surprised while listening to Gnarls Barkley’s St. Elsewhere in its entirety, finding it one of the most blissfully soulful and wonderfully realized albums of this half-decade. A long and would be mysterious collaboration between Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo, Gnarls Barkley is the brainchild of these two… eccentric minds. A funkadellic switchboard of genre sampling, Gnarls might call to mind a bit of TV on the Radio for certain fans, but unlike TVOTR (their debut, anyway) Gnarls remain significantly singular minded in their intentions. Plus, their prediliction towards Shoegazing is minimal. It makes for a smaller more attainable sound. It’s not Jamiroquai (though, the wave of sound style of vocal work is effective on an almost spiritual level) but the intriguing confidence and purity in the production, which should be all homage but comes off as all genuine, is as exhilarating as anything by him. St. Elsewhere is a truly up-front, no pretense, minor masterpiece.

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