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The Odd Couple
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know there's a lot going on under the flashy musical surface of Gnarls Barkley's second album, including some introspective and sometimes somber lyrics, which are truthful but fine for young teens. "F--k" is said twice in one song and the band references drugs in passing, but other than that, there's not a lot to be concerned about.
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What's the story?
Gnarls Barkley is back with a follow-up to the duo's hugely popular and critically-acclaimed debut. Consisting of super-producer Danger Mouse and vocalist Cee-Lo, Gnarls Barkley creates a unique sound that is difficult to classify into one musical genre. They may be a unique pairing, but they're also a match made in modern music heaven, seamlessly combining a cross-section of American musical genres from everything from blues and jazz to doo-wop and techno.
Is it any good?
There are plenty of musical effects, catchy choruses, and up-tempo beats, but these two musicians make more than just pretty music. The lyrics are thoughtful, sometimes even philosophical and somber, accented by Cee-Lo's sincere and affable vocals. Gnarls Barkley is bold enough to create a sound all its own, welcoming fans of all musical stylings. Those who dug the single "Crazy" from the group's first album won't be disappointed by this new offering, with standout tracks such as "Neighbors" and "She Knows" maintaining that familiar "Gnarly" mash-up sound.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this album represents an "odd couple." The duo is made up of two very different musicians. How does the music reflect the combination of different styles, such as rock and hip-hop? How unusual is it to see a mixed race duo? Do you think this contributes to the group's appeal?