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Gnarls Barkley 

St. Elsewhere

Wednesday, May 24 2006
Maybe it's the seizure that opens the mega-hit "Crazy" — four solid punches of bass drum marking the track's unyielding tempo — that hints at the precarious character of Gnarls Barkley. The frenzied timbre of that voice rising to the conceit of the chorus' question: "Does that make me crazy?" Hell, yeah; it's the oversaturated joy of a psychotic. But Barkley, the collective alter ego of DJ Danger Mouse and singer/rapper Cee-Lo, gets more bizarre as you get to know him, and St. Elsewhere's best stuff is sharpened with a dark edge, from the menacing neo-soul of "The Boogie Monster" to the agitated intensity of "Go Go Gadget Gospel." Even when the two get carried away with themselves — an excessively bubbly beat here, a tossed-off line there — all is forgiven by the time you reach the penultimate track, "Storm Coming," in which Sir Gnarls channels Autechre one second and Big Joe Turner the next. Crazy? Absolutely.

About The Author

Nate Cavalieri


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