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Gnarls Barkley's New Album: Funky Soul, Psych Rock and a Dark Ballad

January 23, 2008 12:29 PM ET

The new Gnarls Barkley disc won't be released until April, but we got the chance to hear a few new cuts early. The verdict: Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse have produced another album of super-catchy tunes that veer between retro-soul shakedowns, tricked-out psychedelic rock and trunk-rattling hip-hop. While nothing sounds as indelible as "Crazy," the first two tracks that the pair are considering for a lead single are pretty ace: one is a funked-up organ groove complemented by French horns, a chorus of "la la la"s and Cee-Lo crooning in his throaty rasp, "Here it comes/Say it loud!" The other track, which we're told is the duo's favorite, is drastically different: a sinister ballad featuring intricately strummed acoustic guitar chords. Cee-Lo's mood turns dark as he repeats over and over, "Who's gonna save my soul?/I know I'm out of control." It's a stylish, spooky take on Robert Johnson's delta blues — and even that suits them just fine."

Related Stories:
Cee-Lo on the Future of Hip-Hop and the Music Business
New Gnarls Barkley Vid Marries Kafka, the Screech Sex Tape
Gnarls Barkley: Hit-Making Hornballs?

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Song Stories

“Promiscuous”

Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

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