Album: Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple (Warner)

Much more of the same from those fabulous Barkley boys
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The Independent Culture

Whatever the merits and demerits of “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley, you’d need a tolerance threshold of superhuman proportions not to be sick of it by now.

Don’t tell Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo Green because, not content with one platinum- selling album on the back of it, they’ve come back with a second effort which is very firmly in the same soul-for-Moby-fans vein.

If there is a different spin on the formula, it’s the Sixties flavour which infuses several tracks on ‘The Odd Couple’. “Run” has the sort of freakbeat rhythm you’d expect to hear in the subterranean nightclub George Best was famously filmed entering in his tie-dyed shirt.

The one time that theduostep outside their safety zone is the intro to “Open Book”, which sounds like an out-take from a RZA project involving a telephone sex pest. In case you feel short-changed that ‘The Odd Couple’ doesn’t actually contain “Crazy” itself, it might as well do: on the finale, “A Little Better”, Cee-Lo switches to eyerolling, chest-beating mode, howling, “Oh Lord have mercy on me,” in that horrible choking-on-a-chocolate muffin voice.

At which point it’s clear that Gnarls Barkley have one intention: milk the goodwill for one more album, before taking the money and running to their mansions.

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