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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

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

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