Friday, January 11, 2008

Acoustic: Gnarls Barkley salvages "Transformer"

I loved Gnarls Barkleys' "Saint Elsewhere" album, but I hated "Transformer" with a fiery passion. It was a weak effort, and it just seemed so far beneath them. But I had no idea that the song had so much potential until I saw an acoustic performance of it that slows it down into a chilling, soulful ballad that's shocking without losing any subtlety. It's actually really brilliant, and I'll never understand why this version of the song didn't show up on the album. It's honestly the best thing I ever heard from them. As a single, it never would have sold as well as "Crazy" did, but it would have earned them a hell of a lot of respect in the industry and among devoted music fans (think the trajectory of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black"'s title track).

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