The Bottom Line
If anyone ever needed proof that pop music need not be at all complex to be great, they simply need to listen to Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" one time. Within one minute, the simple bass beat, tasteful strings, and Cee-Lo's voice drive the hook into your brain to remain for a long time. Danceable, singable..."Crazy" is as close to perfect as it gets.
Visit Gnarls Barkley on MySpace to hear "Crazy."
- A hook that never lets go
- Elegant in its simplicity
- None here
- Stripped-down insistent beat
- Sweetly soulful Cee-Lo vocals
- Backing strings are icing on a very sweet cake
Guide Review - Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
Month after month it becomes increasingly obvious how brilliant Danger Mouse's production work on Gorillaz' Demon Days is. Now, as a followup, he has joined rapper/vocalist Cee-Lo (possibly best known in pop circles for helping co-write the "Don't Cha" hook for the Pussycat Dolls) for the project Gnarls Barkley and a first single that is, well, pop perfection. The UK music-buying public has responded by making it the first #1 pop single to reach that spot from digital downloads alone the week before the physical single of "Crazy" goes on sale.
The stripped-down beat combined with Cee-Lo's classic-sounding, high-pitched r&b vocals is somewhat reminiscent of Moby's sampling experiments on the breakthrough album Play. The sound here is just as irresistible. A final touch of brilliance is the subtle sound of strings providing sub-conscious echoes to the golden era of Philly soul in the 1970's.
"Crazy" has set the bar very high for Gnarls Barkley's first full-length album St. Elsewhere to be released in late April, 2006 in the UK and early May, 2006 in the US. However, Danger Mouse's ability to draw on an amazingly broad palette of sounds from pop/soul history then strip things down to the most necessary essentials works well on a full album suite of songs. For now, enjoy "Crazy" and look forward with eager anticipation.