Cee Lo Green

Thomas DeCarlo Callaway: better known as Cee Lo Green

CEE LO GREEN
THE LADY KILLER
ELEKTRA
4/5
Every generation needs a Teddy Pendergrass. And on his third solo album, Cee Lo Green (of Gnarls Barkley fame) makes a strong case for being ours. Like the great R&B singers of the ’60s and ’70s, Green has that amazing ability to be completely present in a song; he’s unafraid to sound a little unhinged if the emotion takes him there. 

The peppy Motown-esque tunes that make up the first half of the album are good fun. But it’s the slow burners near the end (“Old Fashioned”, “No One’s Gonna Love You”) that pack the biggest punch. Green’s pleading delivery, paired with the swelling strings, blow a kiss to the Philly Soul era while still keeping one foot planted in the contemporary world. While not a faultless record (“Fuck You” quickly wears out its welcome), one thing is certain: Green is one of the most compelling voices in pop music today.

Review appears in the current issue of prairie dog magazine.

Random Thoughts that Didn’t Make the Review:
  • I know I’m definitely in the minority as far as not liking big single “Fuck You.” It was a huge Internet sensation this summer and Gwyneth “Goop” Paltrow even covered it on Glee. But I still find it kind of grating after a couple of listens. Sorry guys!
  • Cee Lo has been on my pop culture radar for a while now and I feel like drawing some attention to the ol’ back catalogue. Check out his guest vocals on the song “Liberation” from Outkast’s ’98 album, Aquemini. Trust me, I wore this disc out in high school.
  • As you saw in the review, one of my favourite tracks on The Lady Killer is “No One’s Gonna Love You”, a cover of a song by the Seattle indie rockers Band of Horses. And I think Cee Lo does a really fabulous job of re-interpreting the material and giving it his own feel. What do you think? Check out both versions below:


 

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