Mostly content to replicate their smash debut “St. Elsewhere’s” winning formula, Gnarls Barkley — the duo of producer Danger Mouse and vocalist Cee-Lo Green – populate their sophomore disc “The Odd Couple” with skewed electro-soul of future/past.
Danger Mouse is as inventive as ever, skillfully combining the organic and the inorganic, and Cee-Lo’s voice is just as roof-raising as his work on “Elsewhere.” There are some clunkers, like the aptly-titled “Whatever,” which creates a serious lull at the CD’s halfway mark, and there’s nothing quite as strong as “Crazy” here (although the mini-religious epic “Going On” and the seizure-inducing single “Run” make a game effort). Overall, however, “Odd Couple” is a worthy follow-up to their debut. It simply lacks the element of surprise that made “St. Elsewhere” such a treat.
In an effort to battle pirates and simultaneously build buzz, “The Odd Couple”‘s release was pushed up by a couple of weeks.