Spun: Gnarls Barkley

By Rachel Betts-Wilmott

Does anyone actually know the title of the Baha Men’s follow-up to Move it Like This–known best for “Who Let the Dogs Out”? Not really. They had one huge hit single and then faded into obscurity. While the Odd Couple may not have the single great track that freshman album St. Elsewhere had, it’s overall a much better album. Which means there won’t be any fading into obscurity for the two American neo-soulsters known as Gnarls Barkley anytime soon.

Overall, the songs on the Odd Couple are much snappier, with producer Danger Mouse’s instrumentation reaching new levels of sonic lushness. With jungle drumming and birds chirping in the background, “Open Book” is evocative of Tarzan swinging on vines, pining for his Jane. Moving away from jungle rhythms to a song for the geeks, second single “Whatever” channels the basement-dwelling Dungeons and Dragon kid’s nerd-longing for a normal life.

More than anything, the Odd Couple proves that St. Elsewhere wasn’t a one-off success. There’s nothing that really blows the listener away, which is the closest thing to a criticism about the record. Conversely, the tracks are overall much more consistent and fun. Danger Mouse provides a wide variety of instrumentation and singer Cee-Lo Green’s voice helps keep a cohesive soul flavour to the tracks. While their two wildly differing styles may be a bit strange, this couple has now finally proven that they can keep making the highest quality albums with enough diversity for everyone.

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