I've been living with this CD for about a fortnight now and while I absolutely love it, while I strongly believe that Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo Green are one of the most innovative and exciting duos in music right now, and while this album offers much of what I was hoping for - fresh, modern music, soulful vocals set to solid beats, and deep, introspective lyrics - I found that it took a little longer than St. Elsewhere to get into. Nothing jumped out and grabbing me by the b**s like a handful of the tunes on "St. Elsewhere" did and I initially struggled to see how some reviewers could consider this the better album.
But, slowly and eventually it came to me, much like a celestial revelation. The more I listened, the more I got it. This album is absolutely incredible. Take songs like "Charity Case" (love the backing vocals by Sierra Simone) and "Who's Gonna Save My Soul", (rumoured to be the second single; Cee-Lo definitely has one of the most soulful voices around at the moment and just check out the opening lyrics: "I got some bad news this mornin'/ Which in turn made my day/ When this someone spoke, I listened/ All of a sudden had less and less to say"). Once I REALLY started to listen, both made me think, ah, yes, this is just like old times! This is what Gnarls Barkley are all about!
Then there's the incredibly danceable "Going On", the manic lead single, "Run (I'm A Natural Disaster)" and to be honest, so it goes right up to the final track, "A Little Better". I do have favourites though: All of the aforementioned, "Whatever", the western-styled "Surprise", "Blind Mary" (another strong contender for a single, methinks) and "Neighbors". That's more or less every song on the CD.
So the answer is yes. In my opinion, and without any doubt, this IS a much better product than "St Elsewhere". What I'm not so sure about is whether it will have the same mass appeal. This one requires a bit more thought and most people just don't have the patience these days.
I'm just saying.