Review Summary: Highlights galore
It’s difficult to get a good grasp on Cee Lo’s latest, even now. First, it deserves to be mentioned that the expectations for Cee Lo’s new album were staggering. Somewhat unexpectedly, the R & B artist was met with unmatched popularity during the heat of high summer when his single “Fuck You” garnered a remarkable 5 million plays on YouTube within a mere 5 days. The song takes the beauty of profanity to a whole new level, and Cee Lo’s soulful statements about a golddigging lady-friend is undoubtedly the sing-along anthem of the year. The Southerner’s charm that’s so evident in his delivery coupled with immaculate production and a chorus for the ages solidifies “Fuck You” among my favorite tracks of the year. It’s the type of song so infectious and disgustingly catchy that the listener’s usual taste bears zero importance, a reminder of the power of pop music.
That was months ago though, and we’re left with a full album of Cee Lo’s solo effort away from Gnarls Barkley. The distinct prominence of “Fuck You” easily could have distorted how we interpret The Lady Killer
. Thankfully, the thrills don’t stop with the summer’s hit single. The album at hand is chock-full of highlights, instead of what we were all afraid of- 12 songs catered to fit around the one, spectacular single. On his 2010 offering, Cee Lo manages to liven up his sound to achieve a more poppy aesthetic and reach a much wider audience; and he does so without watering down his soulful sound. Dignity intact, Cee Lo finds his niche by fitting just enough hooks and highlights into a cohesive, extraordinary pop album.
The Lady Killer’s
biggest draw is impossible to pin down, as one of its biggest strengths is that the chameleon-like Lady Killer
manages to serve different purposes to different listeners. Those looking for 2010’s fun, romping party music that have worn out Teenage Dream
find a backup artist here, with Cee Lo. “Bright Lights Bigger City” is the first track that brings the swag. “Everybody’s standin’ in line, lookin’ good gonna have a real good time,”
he belts out in the ode to big-city nightlife complete with strings, synth and the attitude to complement. “Fuck You” is then next, most obvious appealer in this realm, but the highlights don’t end there. No, it’s tough to count “Satisfied” and “It’s OK” out of the mix, as Cee Lo keeps the bouncy allure on The Lady Killer
impressively fresh, adding tiny preservatives like jazzy trombones, orchestral passages, and even a bit of romance. Not to mention Cee Lo’s ever-sensual croon.
Bombastic and catchy, Cee Lo could have easily left The Lady Killer
with “Fuck You” and a few worthy singles to complement, as illustrated above, and still enjoyed a rather successful outing. Luckily for us, the smooth-talking Cee Lo isn’t done yet. His 2010 album isn’t just for single-seekers, as The Lady Killer
maintains an impressive level of consistency throughout. Rarely is there a lull in quality across the board, as the retro-soul enthusiast Green spits out line after line of fineness- “They say chivalry is dead, then why is her body in my bed"”
(“Bodies”). At times, Cee Lo’s enthusiasm and bombast can reach almost cartoonish levels, coming off a little over-the-top, like the sappy “Cry Baby.” As 2010’s most lovable artist though, I dare you not to forgive the big baby for his fleeting missteps.
With enough consistency to propel The Lady Killer
into the good graces of listeners looking for more than simply a party anthem or two, Cee Lo’s unique 2010 release proves the profanity-ridden single was no fluke. His 3rd LP is much more than what I was dreading- a bunch of songs catered to complement “Fuck You” and fill in the space in-between. With a little zazz and a ton of enthusiasm, the soul artist’s ingenious career progression should, and will, elicit striking success. When push comes to shove, Cee Lo Green’s got his head in the clouds on The Lady Killer
, and with little dragging him down and enough bombast and highlights to keep him eternally-elated, I don’t see the hook-laden creation surrendering its place on the pop-music throne any day soon.