by Luke Baumgarten and Darcy Caputo & r & & r & Gnarls Barkley & lt;a href= & quot;http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=rQy1MLe70wI & amp;offerid=78941 & amp;type=3 & amp;subid=0 & amp;tmpid=1826 & amp;RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fphobos.apple.com%252FWebObjects%252FMZStore.woa%252Fwa%252FviewAlbum%253Fi%253D152471362%2526id%253D152471339%2526s%253D143441%2526partnerId%253D30 & quot; &
St. Elsewhere & lt;/a & 4 STARS & r & On St. Elsewhere, Cee-Lo is like a parallel universe Al Green, where Rev. Al still went into the church but fueled his big tent revivals with uppers, breakbeats and Violent Femmes tapes. The breaks are supplied by Danger Mouse, who, in five releases in just over two years, has consistently demonstrated himself to be a master of beat diversity.
Unlike so many other producers, Danger Mouse produces to his subject, bending his beats around Cee-Lo's squeaky, scratchy sing-song flow. It's gotta be a lot more work than speeding up an Archie Bell song -- like, you know, Kanye -- and telling someone to rap around it, but the effect is so much more cohesive, with most songs mickey-mousing Cee-Lo's salty, deliberate voice like a silent film score. Scariest, Danger's only getting better.
It's such an odd, counterintuitive, brilliant release that Cee-Lo himself feigns disbelief, singing "Does that make me crazy? Does that make me crazy? Probably." Not probably, definitely. St. Elsewhere represents secular gospel. -- Luke Baumgarten
& lt;a href= & quot;http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=rQy1MLe70wI & amp;offerid=78941 & amp;type=3 & amp;subid=0 & amp;tmpid=1826 & amp;RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fphobos.apple.com%252FWebObjects%252FMZStore.woa%252Fwa%252FviewArtist%253Fid%253D17885376%2526partnerId%253D30 & quot; & Camera Obscura & lt;/a & Let's Get Out of This Country 4 STARS & r & At least three years in the making and well worth the wait, Scotland's Camera Obscura are back with their third full-length via stateside powerhouse Merge Records.
Two standout tracks -- "Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken" and the title track -- are nothing if not pop bliss a la Belle & amp; Sebastian's If You're Feeling Sinister.
But where Belle & amp; Sebastian practically derailed with the hit-and-miss blundery of Dear Catastrophe Waitress and catastrophic mess of The Life Pursuit, C.O. have managed to stick to doing what they know best: making pop music that reflects their flowering '60s sensibilities. And where it was almost impossible to say anything about C.O. without the endless comparisons to Belle & amp; Sebastian, who needs B & amp;S now?
Singer Tracyanne Campbell's stunning "Country Mile" could arguably be the most beautiful song about isolation to come out the British Isles since Nick Drake did the eternal slumber thing 30 years ago. How's that for an endorsement? -- Darcy Caputo