Gnarls Barkley: St. Elsewhere (Downtown Music/Atlantic).
Former Goodie Mob front-man (and later soloist and Carlos Santana collaborator) Cee-Lo Green and mash-up maven Danger Mouse have managed to create a truly amazing and groundbreaking CD given the potential for interference by corporate marketing interests on an album as experimental as St. Elsewhere. Green has been given free reign to let loose even more with his trademark gospel whoops and hollers (and shows some impressive songwriting chops), while Danger Mouse's pastiche of drum hits, organs, strings and distorted guitar samples perfectly complement Green's vocal and lyrical gymnastics on dysfunctional relationships (the monster hit single "Crazy"), paranoia ("Monster In My Closet") and standard MC braggadocio ("Feng Shui"). Sounding like a mid-1960's R & B TV show on an interstellar spacecraft, St. Elsewhere is a sonic trip to somewhere way out there and back. It is what music listeners would be hearing lots more of if the term "neo-soul" actually meant something.