DJ Danger Mouse is officially a musical Midas. Having previously knocked it out of the park with The Grey Album, Gorillaz’s Demon Days, and the loopy, inspired MF Doom collaboration The Mouse and the Mask, he’s teamed up with the Goodie Mob’s Cee-Lo Green and fashioned St. Elsewhere, the funkiest pop record of ‘06 so far. Like Al Green on acid, Cee-Lo anchors Danger Mouse’s undeniable hooks, killer beats, and fat rhythms with his swooping, surreal falsetto; shit-hot single “Crazy” burrows deep into your brain and refuses to let go, just as the leftfield cover of the Violent Femmes’ “Gone Daddy Gone” seems perfectly logical amid the musical madness on display. St. Elsewhere is a rich, slick album that defies easy categorization; Danger Mouse’s inventive samples and uncanny ear meshes well with Cee-Lo’s neo-soul stylings, creating a 21st century-ready fusion that the press notes bill as “psychedelic soul.” Said press notes also name check Marvin Gaye, Jeff Buckley, and Prince as musical touchstones, all of which float to the surface more than once during the course of the album: the funky “Online,” the thoughtful “Necromancer,” and the darkly compelling “Just A Thought” mesh and flow wonderfully, making for a cohesive listening experience. As we approach the halfway point of 2006, it’s unlikely that a more vivid or arresting debut will drop this year, marking St. Elsewhere as not only an audacious accomplishment, but one of the year’s best.
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