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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

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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