The backdrop of your day regardless of how you're feeling...
Will Lavin

15:41 8th November 2010

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Cee Lo Green is a man of many trades when it comes to music. Starting out as one part of southern rap group Goodie Mob, whose connections with Outkast and the Organized Noize production team saw the release of the classic ‘Soul Food’ album. This in turn earned the foursome the respect of true hip-hop followers everywhere, regardless of the State or region they represented. Already well known for his diverse and extremely funky rapping talents, after a bust up within the group Green went solo and dropped the experimental ‘Cee-Lo Green And His Perfect Imperfections'. Crossing all kinds of musical boundaries, which included rap, soul, jazz, and rock, his individual take on the way music should be produced was simply marvelous. Whilst critically acclaimed but not gaining huge commercial attention his follow up, ‘Cee-Lo Green Is The Soul Machine’, which included collaborations with Timbaland and Ludacris, took a more direct and soulfully dominated route which helped the self-proclaimed ‘Love Gun’ reach many new sets of ears. It was still only in the U.S. he was a recognisable figure, however, what was about to happen would change his life forever. Forming the duo Gnarls Barkley with celebrated producer Danger Mouse and dropping the single ‘Crazy’ catapulted him to the top of charts all over the world, including nine consecutive weeks in the UK. Two albums down as part of Gnarls Barkley, the time has now come for Green to return on his own.

With an underlining theme which sees Green fall in love, fall out of love, find new love, get cheated on, and return to an old love, ‘The Lady Killer’ is a solidly structured project from start to finish. Instead of floating between genres, like on his previous releases, this one is strictly soul. It’s old soul, new soul, and somewhere in-between soul. With production from the likes of Salaam Remi, who contributed to Amy Winehouse’s smash hit album ‘Back In Black’, and Jack Splash, frontman of funk collective Plant Life, there’s no questioning this album’s validity when it comes to the soul genre.

Following a braggadocios introduction, where Green informs the listener that his name is not important, ‘Bigger Lights, Bigger City’ is the perfect opening track. The sprinkling of synthesizers and larger portions of strings is a thing a beauty. Lyrically painting a picture that comprises of the allure of city lights on a weekend, this cut could become a weekend anthem for those that fancy something a little more complex than the average pop song.
Not being able to escape his latest single, though why would you want to? ‘Fuck You’ received 3 million hits on YouTube in a single week. Its infectious hook, simplistic keyboard riff, and modern day Motown twist is enough to proclaim the Atlanta native as today’s savior of soul. For those not a fan of the profanity but who still appreciate a good soul record, the UK version of the album features the alternative version, ‘Forget You’.

Another notable song is ‘Bodies’, where a cocky Green croons: “They say that chivalry is dead… Then why is her body in my bed?” Its suggestive instrumental and erotic voice over could start or end an evening in with the missus, or even both if you’re feeling lucky.

When discussing well-rounded and evenly balanced albums as far as production, lyrical content, delivery, and overall appeal goes, ‘The Lady Killer’ is just that. The only negative point would involve longtime fans of Green, those that have been with him since his Goodie Mob days. Not treated to any of his trademark machine gun rap flow, like his verse on ‘Trans DF Express’ as part of The Dungeon Family, another of his side ventures, where he spits: “I am the one and only son of a machine gun/ Intrapable, meaning I can’t be placed between none.” Aside from this factor, there shouldn’t be any cause for complaint. If you’re looking for that album that explores all emotions, musically delivers non-stop catchy hooks, and can form the backdrop of your day regardless of how you’re feeling, look no further.

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