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Gnarls Barkley follows in the footsteps of The Arctic Monkeys in being a monster success, primarily through the internet. Described as a American experimental/alternative/soul/hip hop/electro group, Gnarls Barkley are certainly different.
On April 2nd, 2006, Gnarls Barkley made history as the first act to top the British singles charts based on internet downloads, with their first single 'Crazy'. The success of the song has also been helped by Ken Bruce making it his record of the week, on his BBC Radio 2 show.
Not a group in the conventional sense, Gnarls Barkley consists of producer Danger Mouse and rapper/singer Cee-Lo - plus assorted musicians. The duo began life in 2005, and their first album, 'St. Elsewhere'*, was released in April, 2006, and reached the top of the UK albums charts. The album was released in the US in May, 2006. The combo capped off a rather breathtaking April with their first-ever gig, at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
'Crazy' is the first single to top the UK singles chart for eight weeks consecutively since 'Love Is All Around' by Wet Wet Wet in 1994. Now nine weeks at number one, 'Crazy' has equalled Queen's 1975 classic, Bohemian Rhapsody, which also topped the UK singles charts for nine weeks.
Gnarls Barkley has certainly grabbed people's attention, and booksmusicfilmstv.com contributor Sharon Carruthers comments: "Wow! I've heard 30 minute clips from their CD and it's a really strange production. I love 'Crazy' so much ... it's even my ringtone!"
The duo will be playing a lot of festivals this summer, including Wireless Festival London, Wireless Festival Leeds, Creamfields Festival in Liverpool, Lollapalooza in Chicago, North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, and Fuji Rock Festival in Japan.
Whilst something different, Gnarls Barkley have still got enough old school elements to sound commercial, and Cee-Lo was resplendent in pink on 'Later... With Jools Holland'!
* 'St. Elsewhere' was also the title of a 1980s American TV hospital drama starring Denzel Washington.
- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.
Recommended album: St. Elsewhere
by: Gnarls Barkley
Album Review by Cavia, the Wirral
I like the album because it is strange. My favourite tracks are 'Smiley Faces', which reminds me of '60s Motown, and I also love 'Who Cares'. I wouldn't advise to buy it for the special female in your life, as in 'Necromancer' he states that he prefers his girlfriend dead!! Insanity/mental illness seems to be the theme of this album.
'St. Elsewhere' is the debut album from alt-rap producer supremo Danger Mouse and former Goodie Mob member Cee-Lo. This is hip-hop with its tongue firmly in its cheek, recalling everything from the underground work of MF Doom to the playground crassness of Sir Mix-a-lot. Includes the hit single 'Crazy'.