Gnarls Barkley is a band spearheaded by Cee-lo, of Goodie Mob, (whose Perfect Imperfections album I played into the ground,) and Dangermouse (from my last favorite album Danger Doom’s the Mouse & The Mask a collaboration between him and MF DOOM,) but you may know him from the controversial Grey album, where he mixed Jay-Z’s Black album with the Beetles’ White Album.
Their new album St. Elsewhere is infectious. Techno like hip-hop style with Cee-lo crooning soulful over issues and ideas and of course lovemaking. I highly recommend at a listen. An important selling point is that despite the occasional adult theme there is no cursing in it, so there’s that.
I have liked Cee-lo since I heard him on Goodie M O B’s classic Soul Food song. I love his voice, craked and syrupy as it may be. Much in the same way that I get a good feeling when Nate Dogg drops a tune. Cee-lo is not the worlds greatest rapper, or singer, but he is a solid performer. I had the benefit of seeing him in concert at Bogart’s. He played before Musiq Soulchild (I refuse to drop the surname.) and he gave one heck of a show.
Dangermouse does a solid job on the boards. His eclecticism is an excellent match for Ceelo’s funkdafied unpredictability. The music is digital pings and chords over a heavy bass.
The album is full of great songs, with addictive hooks. Good songs to listen to are Just a Thought, St. Elsewhere, Transformer, and Who Cares. All great songs that seem nourish in their themes of isolation and alienation that seem to come from an elevated level of introspection and creative expression. They album is a killer.
I am currently addicted to the Song “Crazy.” The Video is included below.
The song seems to sum up my life where it seems like I am working against the world at large. To me the song seems to be about feeling crazy in a world that seems to keep moving when you know too much and feel like everyone else is ignoring the obvious signs of the times. One of my favorite versus is the first
I feel it when he talks about losing his mind “but it wasn’t because I didn’t know enough, I just knew too much.
Does that make me crazy?”
The video uses inkblots, which psychologists are said to use to test perceptual associations. I see it and think Gnarls is asking us the question of what we see when we see the world, and if we see different things who is crazy?
Me for knowing too much to know I am not in control, or you for thinking you are.
Maybe we’re both crazy,
St. Elsewhere is in stores May 9th.