Gnarls Barkley

Continuing through his Rolodex of distinguished sub-popular MCs, producer Danger Mouse moves on from last year's MF Doom collaboration, The Mouse and the Mask, to this potent (if less amazing) team-up with former Goodie Mob member Cee-Lo. Lacking Mask's Adult Swim tie-in gimmick as a comedic conceptual thrust, Elsewhere is merely a well-engineered romp, but if it helps elevate Cee-Lo's visibility, then no complaints here. Though not as witty or rapid a rhymer as Doom, Cee-Lo does add a sensual/soulful component to Danger's playful sound, especially on the velvety "Online" and the blues-funk anxiety of "Just a Thought." The just-for-a-lark slightness sometimes feels like a waste of two talents; even the crossover hit "Crazy" is all shallow pleasure. But in an era of overlong rap records stuffed with delusions of grandeur, St. Elsewhere traffics in goofy weirdness -- and you can listen to it twice in a row and never get bored.


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