Gnarls Barkley's "Odd" jumps ahead three weeks

Originally due April 8, Gnarls Barkley's sophomore album, "The Odd Couple," is suddenly for sale as of Tuesday (March 18) via the iTunes Music Store and will be available on CD later this week. ( Reuters )

The Downtown/Atlantic set had already leaked online, although that was not mentioned as the official reason for the date change. Billboard understands that, rather than waiting for a specific release date, stores are being encouraged to sell the CD as soon as their shipments arrive, which could be as soon as Wednesday (March 19).

"They felt the timing was right to just go for it," reads a post on Gnarls Barkley's Web site. "With the shifting seasons, furtive romantic entanglements and fierce college basketball rivalries, the latter half of March can be confusing. People need to be soothed and inspired now."

"The Odd Couple" is led by the single "Run," which is No. 36 this week on Billboard's Modern Rock chart.

Gnarls Barkley will play some shows in support of the new album, but group member Cee-Lo Green told Billboard he's reluctant to commit to an extensive tour.

"Believe it or not, I still can't afford to take my entire family on the road with me," he said. "(But) it's an entirely different thing to walk out onstage to the love and embrace of a crowd that's singing along with something you could have very possibly been alone in. And it's about that too. It makes me able to complain a whole lot less."

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