Gnarls Barkley: Smiley Faces

Gnarls Barkley: Smiley Faces

Danger and Cee-Lo release next inevitable Number One

How epic was all that, eh? Gnarls Barkley’s stomping, world-destroying debut single only finished its nine-week reign at the top of the pop charts because their record company – nicking a trick out of Wet Wet Wet’s book – actually deleted the song so it couldn’t irritate Fearne Cotton any longer. Well, can you imagine what would have happened if they didn’t? Fast forward to 2097, everyone’s buggering about with jetpacks, we’re all wearing genetically engineered trousers and “I think I’m crrrraaaazzzyyyyee”, is still blaring out of every speaker in the land, while the cryogenically-frozen duo behind it continue to make rowdy guest appearances via their flash private jet. Or at least their heads and accompanying jars do.

As jolly as it sounds, it’s no longer possible because the playing field has been cleared for Gnarls Barkley’s biggest competitors; themselves. And they’ve only bloody well gone and done it again. Messrs Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse have created more blazing Motown for the modern man, where searing, quasi-religious soul vocals flutter over dirty bass and pumped-up nods to spaceship electro.

Like OutKast before them, their odd couple future-focused hip-hop is as immediate as bubonic plague and you can almost see the Manhattan block parties full of kids arsing about in front of fire hydrants to its bottom-bouncing rhythms. The real question though, is will we still be hearing it in 2097?

If this one escapes deletion, then we’ll stick a fiver on it. Well, it beats chucking away hard cash on England making it past the quarters.