by Marisa Brown
Credit Danger Mouse for not trying to make another "Crazy" on his and Cee-Lo Green's second album together. To do so would've been not only nearly impossible, it would've indisputably cast Gnarls Barkley as a quirky but forgettable one-hit wonder.
Instead, on The Odd Couple, the duo takes a steadier approach, with Cee-Lo forgoing anything that resembles rapping to press his emotive voice into our ears. The themes are dark — with songs suitably titled "Charity Case" and "Who's Going to Save My Soul," the latter a gorgeous bit that finds the singer at his most fragile, and most real. Even more optimistic tracks, such as "A Little Better," more than hint at the pain that comes before the ascent.
But while Mr. Green has no qualms about baring at least part of his costumed psyche, Danger Mouse is more measured. He borrows from California pop, gospel, Italian film music and even punk while keeping the sound all his own. It's this innovation, of course, this ability to remind us of what we already know and what we wish to know that makes The Odd Couple a complete offering, an album that functions as an album that is, ultimately, quite satisfying.