Review: Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
Review: Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
Gnarls Barkley is the musical collaboration between producer Danger Mouse and singer Cee-Lo Green. Their debut album, St. Elsewhere, was released in 2006 and became a worldwide sensation, thanks to the smash hit single "Crazy". But the album is much more than just one song. It is a diverse and adventurous collection of soul, pop, rock, hip hop, and psychedelic influences, all held together by Danger Mouse's inventive production and Cee-Lo's expressive vocals.
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The album opens with "Go-Go Gadget Gospel", a frenetic and funky track that samples the theme song from Inspector Gadget. Cee-Lo sings about his spiritual awakening with a gospel choir backing him up. The song sets the tone for the rest of the album, which explores themes of madness, love, death, and redemption. The title track, "St. Elsewhere", is a haunting ballad that references the 1980s TV show of the same name. Cee-Lo sings about feeling lost and lonely in a world that doesn't understand him.
The album's most famous track, "Crazy", is a masterpiece of pop songwriting. It features a catchy hook, a soulful melody, and lyrics that resonate with anyone who has ever felt different or out of place. The song was so popular that it became the first ever digital-only single to top the UK charts. It also reached number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and won a Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance.
But St. Elsewhere is not just a one-hit wonder. The album is full of gems that showcase Gnarls Barkley's versatility and creativity. "Gone Daddy Gone" is a cover of a Violent Femmes song that adds a funky bass line and a xylophone solo. "Smiley Faces" is a cheerful and upbeat song that questions the authenticity of happiness. "The Boogie Monster" is a humorous and spooky track that features Cee-Lo rapping as a creature under his bed. "Just a Thought" is a powerful and emotional song that deals with suicidal thoughts and depression.
The album also includes some instrumental tracks that showcase Danger Mouse's skills as a producer. "Transformer" is a psychedelic rock track that samples The Beatles' "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite". "Who Cares?" is a hip hop track that samples The Zombies' "Time of the Season". "Online" is an electronic track that samples Kraftwerk's "Computer Love". The album closes with "The Last Time", a soulful ballad that features Cee-Lo singing with a children's choir.
St. Elsewhere is an album that defies genres and expectations. It is a unique and original work of art that blends old and new sounds, humor and seriousness, joy and sadness. It is an album that celebrates being different and being yourself. It is an album that deserves to be heard in its entirety, not just as a zip file.
St. Elsewhere is not only a musical masterpiece, but also a cultural phenomenon. The album received critical acclaim from various publications and critics, such as Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, The Guardian, and Robert Christgau. It was nominated for four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. It also appeared on many year-end lists and best-of-the-decade lists. It has sold over three million copies worldwide and has been certified platinum in several countries.
The album also influenced many artists and genres in the following years. It helped popularize the use of sampling and mash-ups in mainstream music. It also inspired many alternative hip hop and neo soul artists, such as Outkast, Kanye West, Amy Winehouse, Frank Ocean, and Kendrick Lamar. It also paved the way for more collaborations between Danger Mouse and other artists, such as The Black Keys, Norah Jones, U2, and Adele.
St. Elsewhere is an album that stands the test of time. It is an album that transcends boundaries and labels. It is an album that speaks to the human condition and the universal emotions that we all share. It is an album that deserves to be celebrated and appreciated for its artistic vision and musical innovation. It is an album that you should listen to right now. 0efd9a6b88