Few have taken the career path that Danger Mouse
has. He cut his teeth making the uber accessible indy album Ghetto Pop Life
with Jemini before taking on the ultimate art project. The now
legendary Grey Album where he remixed Jigga’s Black
Album
with the Beatles White Album. It may not
have sounded as good as some of the other remix albums, but no else was limited
to samples from one album and one album only. The concept and difficulty of
execution were alone worth the accolades. With a blessing in disguise lawsuit
from the album DM’s career took off as he was tapped by the Gorillaz
to join their cartoon band. After providing the platinum super group with an
incredible backdrop, the producer with the cartoon name went from a cartoon
group to a cartoon network to make an album about cartoons. The critical
acclaim for DangerDOOM was unending; this collab with Cee
Lo
will be no different.

The elder statesman of this oddly named duo took a much different trip to this
point of his career. The front man of Goodie Mob and first
generation Dungeon Family member, Cee Lo Green the
Soul Machine
stayed within the group concept for three albums before
he had to spread his wings on his own. The results to no surprise have been a
pair of dope and very eclectic bodies of work.

As DM has done with each of his previous releases, St.
Elsewhere
sounds like nothing else he has done before. He and Cee
Lo
have created the most brash, artistic, genre defying pop music
since Andre 3000 and The Love Below. It’s no
coincidence that their single crazy is getting spins on every station from Hip Hop,
R&B, rock to adult contemporary. While “Crazy” has generated a huge buzz and
landed them a number one hit, it is the should-be second single “Smiley Faces”
that could take this album into rarely charted territory. This is the type of
song that makes a diamond album. The hit possibilities don’t stop there as the Violent
Femmes
-inspired “Gone Daddy Gone” or “The Last Time” could easily have people
forking over the dollars.

But the uber pop sensibilities of this LP in its entirety don’t apply to each
song as the eccentric duo expectedly take a walk on the other side as well. Cee
Lo
is at his frantic best on the triumphant “Go-Go Gadget Gospel”
where DM shows off the horns and goes mental on the drum
machine. “Feng
Shui”
is track that is about, well, feng shui. Of course, the
minimal beat compliments the feng shui. The Soul Machine takes it a little
further out there on “Just a Thought” where he contemplates suicide over booming
drum intervals. Even stranger is the fascinatingly morbid “Necromancing,” although you might miss the subject
matter listening to the devastating beat.

Throughout the albums 14 songs the ultra talented duo rarely do wrong, be it
the 80’s influenced “Storm Coming,” the spooky “Boogie Monster” or slowing it
down for the silky title track. About the only hiccup found is a string of
songs near the end of the album. “Transformer” just tries to do too much
and ends up being irritating and while neither “Who Cares” or “On Line” are bad,
they just aren’t up to par with the rest of the LP. While I’m sure certain
mainstream outlets will hail St. Elsewhere as the most groundbreaking
album of this millennium, it really isn’t, Cee Lo and Danger
Mouse
aren’t the first artists to defy genres. Without question, they
have done it in their own manor, and done it really, really fucking well.
What’s most notable here is that an incredible LP is actually getting the
recognition it deserves. Sadly, that is pretty ground breaking in this day and
age…it’s crazy.