As with James Blunt's massively overplayed hit 'You're Beautiful', try to put aside the fact that you've heard 'Crazy' played so many times that now that's how it makes you feel - because to miss out on this album would border on catastrophic.
Gnarls Barkley, made up of soul singer Cee-Lo Green and musician/producer Danger Mouse, have a really unique sound. As the gimmicky Gnarls Barkley their music has soul in abundance - plus wacky lyrics and vibrant beats, which very successfully blend a number of genres, without alienating any of their potential audience across these genres.
If you've come to this album via the scenic 'Cee-Lo Green is a Soul Machine'/'The Grey Album' route, then you'll probably have very high expectations of 'St Elsewhere' - as its creators move from the slightly underground tunnels of slick, ultra-hip music to the mainstream rollercoaster of chart battles. Both are masters at what they do and the results of their collaboration could only produce something as instantly infectious as this album.
'St Elsewhere' is a brassy, bold type of album, that demands your attention as it draws on everything from pop culture influences to fads for its subject matter, with the odd unsavoury element of society thrown into the mix, creating some tracks that are instantly hummable and some that momentarily hinge between quirky and distasteful (as with 'Necromancer'). But you realise that nothing here should be taken too seriously and that most of the content on this album is just downright hip, with the music enveloping the well-worked lyrics.
The word filler obviously doesn't exist on the streets of St Elsewhere. Any track here is a hit single waiting to be released. While debut single 'Crazy' has got it all going on, tracks like 'Gone Daddy Gone', 'Transformer' and 'Go Go Gadget Gospel' are sure to become hits down the line.
Homages, trickery and unusual styling aside, Gnarls Barkley ooze commercial, yet credible, appeal with their own, very particular, brand of funky pop. Clichéd as it might sound, this is one of those albums that opens your eyes along with your ears.
With more hooks than a fisherman's knapsack, 'St Elsewhere' is the kind of addictive record that just doesn't come along every day. Buy it and listen to it a lot.