Gnarls Barkley
(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

, /10

New York's producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton, better known for mixing together vocals and beats from Jay Z's Black Album and snippets from the Beatles' White Album to create his Grey Album (2004), formed Gnarls Barkley with Goodie Mob's flamboyant vocalist Cee-Lo Green (Thomas DeCarlo Callaway). The soul, pop and hip-hop hybrid of their St Elsewhere (2006) signaled a shift towards a reappropriation of the past. The Wilson Pickett-ian soul music Go-Go Gadget Gospel, with a jazzy trumpet fanfare, the funny horror boogie The Boogie Monster, the aggressive and melodramatic Storm Coming attack different facets of music of the 1960s. The bestselling single Crazy, one of the catchiest hits of the year, with a vintage-sounding melody and vintage-sounding arrangements over a steady disco beat, could have been from the late 1970s. Alas, the rest of the album is pure crap. This should have been a 6-song EP at best.

The Odd Couple (2008) included a new hit, Run, but, despite the hype, it mostly leveraged 1960s nostalgia without the creative effervescence of the debut.

Danger Mouse joined forces with James Mercer of the Shins to create Broken Bells (Columbia, 2010), a tour de force and a collage of musical stereotypes. The four-song EP Meyrin Fields (2011) added the title-track and Heartless Empire to their canon.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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