The Odd Couple

  • Record Label: Atlantic
  • Release Date: Mar 18, 2008

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Odd Couple is every bit as musically inventive as "Elsewhere."
  2. The Odd Couple is an emotionally and musically provocative album. Despite its weighty subject matter, it’s also one hell of a fun listen.
  3. The Odd Couple [is] thirteen songs chock full of honest, unabashed, experimental self-expression that isn't afraid to take chances.
  4. Across forty minutes, this is epic yet compact, a film noir in garish technicolour, an album made up of potential singles.
  5. While the production values on the album are stronger, so is The Odd Couple's focus on Cee-Lo's voice.
  6. The Odd Couple is the exhilarating sound of the band geeks and theater weirdoes taking over the school.
  7. The Odd couple is a complusively listenable, if somber, effort. [28 Mar 2008, p.65]
  8. The duo’s modern take on a classic sound runs throughout the new record, a worthy 13-song sophomore effort.
  9. 80
    If this is soul, it's soul for 21st-century sociopaths. [Apr 2008, p.77]
  10. Sometimes the pair slips into an uncomplicated groove, and the results transcend the duo's deep, signature whimsy to lift Gnarls Barkley into the realm of classic.
  11. It seems that the more comfortable the principals get with Gnarls Barkley, the more haunted Gnarls Barkley gets. And it gets stronger, too.
  12. The Odd Couple rewards repeated listens, revealing intriguing new sounds each time, from heavenly organs to cartoon noises.
  13. There's no doubt The Odd Couple is hard work, but it pays off.
  14. 80
    The result is a milestone in modern psychedelic soul.
  15. The Odd Couple contains few hints about where the pair will go next. For now, let’s revel in the fact that soul music hasn’t sounded this fresh and downright freaky for a quarter of a century.
  16. Zany jinks anew from Hip-hop’s Awkward Squad.
  17. Vibe
    The finished product has glorious results. [May 2008, p.69]
  18. And yet, as is often the case with music crafted solely in the key of strife, the result is bizarrely life-enhancing, chiefly thanks to the head-spinning fashion in which Gnarls condense 40 years of rock'n'roll into one seamless psychedelic whole.
  19. Mojo
    With producer Danger Mouse's nuanced psychedelic rock and soul backdrops, scintillating pop music with substance results. [May 2008, p.103]
  20. This album might be more focused than its predecessor, but what it's focused on is a the kind of murky, paranoid weight and depth that doesn't much make for chart-climbing singles.
  21. 70
    With The Odd Couple, Gnarls Barkley is unable to come up with anything containing as much pure pop power as their hit song "Crazy," but it's certainly not for lack of trying.
  22. At times, The Odd Couple is a more beautiful record than its predecessor. But all too often Cee-Lo relies on the same sort of lyrical cipher as on St. Elsewhere, although none of them are as effective.
  23. Under The Radar
    The Odd Couple is a bit top-heavy, but the bottom holds up a lot better than "St. Elsewhere." [Spring 2008, p.76]
  24. This Odd Couple is from the future, even if Gnarls Barkley's second LP comes littered with shades of the past.
  25. On the whole, The Odd Couple has a much more unified atmosphere, but in quality the album is sporadic and unpredictable.
  26. 60
    The Odd Couple is basically a more refined "St. Elsewhere," without the rap aberrations or goofy covers that made the debut such a wild, bumpy ride. [Apr 2008, p.91]
  27. Strangely, given the unified palette and temperament, the album feels disjointed: one track doesn’t pull you to the next.
  28. On The Odd Couple, Gnarls Barkley gets halfway to the heights of St. Elsewhere and seems content to stay there.
  29. For fans of "St Elsewhere" and general mash-ups of styles, The Odd Couple will contain a few splendid tracks, a few decent offerings, and a few duds.
  30. Q Magazine
    Yet for all the sharp hooks and rhythmic twists, the album sags in the middle. [Apr 2008, p.127]
  31. The Odd Couple from its superior predecessor (just: the writing is a bit weaker, the arrangements sleepier, the production effects a bit thicker) and so its most glaring flaw is that it simply lacks St. Elsewhere‘s invigorated tone, following the same blueprint with cheaper components, producing off-putting retreads whose only appeal lies in their similarity to more effective tracks on Gnarls’s former effort
  32. Needless to say, though, Odd Couple doesn't conjure the same immediate wow-factor as "St. Elsewhere."
  33. A hastily crafted follow-up, a subpar sequel, much more "Rocky V" than "The Godfather: Part II."
  34. Boring grooves that last a couple of minutes before ending abruptly just don’t cut it. What a letdown.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 36 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Nov 21, 2010
    Not nearly as good as St. Elsewhere, and quite frankly a huge disappointment. With his incredible voice, I wonder if Cee-Lo still has a fewNot nearly as good as St. Elsewhere, and quite frankly a huge disappointment. With his incredible voice, I wonder if Cee-Lo still has a few gems left in him. Only time will tell. Full Review »
  2. RafalR.
    Apr 18, 2008
    Who's Gonna save my soul now?
  3. TimF.
    Apr 13, 2008
    A focused record that plays better with each listen. This has many growers, and one of their strongest tracks "Who's gonna save my soul."