New (Leaked) Music: Gnarls Barkley – The Odd Couple

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


mojo-photo-gnarlsoc.jpgHey, look what leaked all over the internets, the new album from Gnarls Barkley. You remember them, they’re the super-producer/mega-singer duo who got the highest score ever on that Hit Formula thing in the New Yorker? Well, they’re back, and while their new album is, you know, enjoyable enough, with songs and notes and everything, I’m not sure they’d want to run it through the hit detector again: the score might be pretty disappointing.

The album’s touchstone seems to be OutKast’s breakthrough 2003 hit “Hey Ya!” whose jungle-like double-time beat propels six of Odd Couple‘s 13 tracks, including current single “Run,” whose strobey video (see below) was apparently sent back for recuts by MTV Europe for being a little too seizure-y. This double-time beat fascinates Danger Mouse, and gave us some of the more awkward tracks on 2006’s St. Elsewhere (see “Go Go Gadget Gospel”). It’s kind of too bad, because they seem to be much more comfortable when they chill out a little. While the leaked version seems to have some titles wrong, track two, “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul,” with its shuffly beat and acoustic guitar, has a lush, late-night sound and gives Cee-Lo a little room to breathe, and track 12, “Neighbors,” has a cinematic sweep. This may be a more traditional hip-hop sound, but they just do it better.

It’s understandable that nothing on here would have the impact of “Crazy,” a once-in-a-lifetime song whose wistful strangeness still sounds as hauntingly beautiful as the first day I heard it. But there’s also nothing on Odd Couple as hypnotic as “Who Cares” or as compelling as “Simley Faces,” St. Elsewhere‘s next-best tracks, both clever and melancholy reimaginings of classic soul. It’s as if they reacted to the success of “Crazy” by refusing to write a song you could even sing along to, and that’s too bad.

Gnarls Barkley’s The Odd Couple is out for real on Downtown/Atlantic on April 8th.

Gnarls Barkley – “Run” (the epileptics-beware part is towards the end)

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate