My computer has finally been rid of the virus that has plagued it for the past few weeks and I’m now able to get back to my beloved reviewing. After much thought I’ve decided to look at the first release of Gnarls Barkley. Their single crazy launched them to the top of the British charts and kept them their for a number of weeks, but while talking to a friend of mine I was told that it was a one trick pony and that it was only worth getting the single. Shocked, I still went ahead and brought the album. The next day I gave it a listen and though it surprised me I fell in love with the album.
All the way through his album the lyrics are fantastic, there’re forever making a descriptive whirlpool that sucks in the listener. Even in the weaker songs the lyrics are original never sound as though there’re rushed or written for filler purposes. In such songs as Feng Shui and Necromancer the vocals are almost continual and sound like Green is not stopping for breath. The lyrics on this album are truly amazing and are definitely one its high points.
DJ Danger Mouse takes up mixing duties for this album and turns up trumps. The music is always crystal clear and everything is perfectly balanced volume-wise. Extra drumbeats and pounding bass riffs are forever swirling in and out of the songs along with haunting backing vocals and other instruments. For instance the record has been made to sound like its been played on a tape player with adds greatly to the disco feel of this album. At times everything is slowed down or played backwards which often makes it sound like Fat boy slim. Such effects are used on the track Go-Go Gadget Gospel. String parts pulled straight from the motown box of magic are featured on the number one hit Crazy and many goodies can be discovered all through the album.
Having spent most of my life head banging to Muse, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers etc I haven’t paid much attention to singers of the hip-hop genre but Cee-Lo Green is truly mind-blowing. From singing in a pounding, low, growl of a voice on The Boogie Monster to giving an almost falsetto performance on the Violent Femme’s cover of Gone Daddy Gone he’s forever changing and moulding his voice to suit each song. For most of the album he talks and raps but on certain occasions he sings and reveals his true talent, as is seen on Crazy. Finding a voice worthy of the lyrics on this album must have been hard but Cee-Lo Green has rose to the challenge and help make a superb album.
Though most of the songs on this album are exceptional there are a few that cant help but sound like the song before. Feng Shui is basically Transformer but without the stupid voices. Storm Coming could easily been got rid off as it brings nothing new to the album and just sounds like any other of the tracks on here. It’s sad that it’s so easy to bitch about this because if only a few tracks were left out this album could almost be perfect.
Seeing as there 14 tracks on the album you’d think that it would be quite a long listen but the average length of the songs on this album is around 2:30 which is annoying because some tracks are so good you want them to last longer. This is so with Online, Necromancer, Gone Daddy Gone and Boogie Monster. They’re all superb tracks that could of all gone on for longer in stead of the few filler tracks.
For someone like me who rarely gives any form of rap and hip-hop time of day this would be a great place to start looking into the genre as it contains some great stuff and though there are some low points to the album the pure quality of some of the recordings on here more than makes up for it.
Go-Go Gadget Gospel
Gone Daddy Gone
The Boogie Monster