I love the way music sounds when it’s played backwards. Such a simple change, really, but it makes even the most ordinary tune seem so beautifully alien — like looking in the mirror and seeing a Martian staring back. So I was pretty psyched to see (via Idolator) that Gnarls Barkley is giving away a backwards file of their just-released The Odd Couple for free online. On first listen, I’m finding no hidden Satanic messages to speak of, but plenty of gorgeously trippy ear candy. I’m this close to declaring Elpuoc Ddo Eht better than the (very good) original album — more mind-blowingly strange, at least. It’d be great if this inspired more bands to follow suit immediately, if only for the weirdos like me who adore this kind of stuff.

What are you waiting for? Run (backwards) on over to and check it out for yourself! And in the meantime, after the jump, a few of my very favorite songs that use backmasked sounds. Anything else I’m missing?

Radiohead’s “Like Spinning Plates” (based on a reversed version of “I Will”)

The Beatles’ “Rain” (wait for the coda)

The Fiery Furnaces’ “Tropical Ice-Land” (check out the final verse; also worth seeking out, though it’s not on YouTube, is their masterful “Black-Hearted Boy”)

Missy Elliott’s “Work It” (that hook!)