Album Review: Cee Lo Green – The Lady Killer

By on Thursday, 25th November 2010 at 2:00 pm

The album may start out “Well, hello there! My name is…not important,” but on the heels of the incredibly catchy single ‘F**k You,’ not to mention his work in Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley, chances are by now you’ve heard of Cee Lo Green. And fans of his latest single wont be disappointed: with a few exceptions, ‘The Lady Killer’ is packed full of catchy, soulful pop gems.

It starts out well, with mid-tempo track ‘Bright Lights, Bigger City’ and its beat that at times is reminiscent of ‘Thriller.’ It’s a song about going out on a Saturday night, and if there was any justice in the world, it’s the kind of track I’d love to hear in the clubs of Washington, DC. Singing about “cocktails and conversation, music and making love,” his powerful and distinctive voice is showcased to its full potential. But as great as it is, neither it, nor, to be honest, any of the other tracks can really match the sheer brilliance of lead single ‘F**k You.’ My review copy of ‘The Lady Killer’ included the censored version of the track, which opts for the much less fun lyrics “forget you!” and “ain’t that some shhhhh…”. Much of the brilliance of ‘F**ck You’ lies in its bluntness, so I believe it does lose a little in translation, but not enough to keep it from being insanely catchy and the most memorable track on the album.

Though nothing can match ‘F**ck You,’ there are a few tracks vying for second place. ‘Love Gun’ featuring Lauren Bennett is literally explosive, using the sounds of gunshots in its percussion. Their voices work very well together, with Lauren taking the first verse and Cee Lo taking the second — it’s a shame he didn’t use her on any of the other tracks. There is a very retro feel to the guitar riff and horns, but the beat is very modern, which makes for a great combination. With lyrics like “Who knew that one to the head and one to the heart could make you feel alright” and “Are you ready for the showdown? Tonight it’s gonna go down,’ it uses a gun fight imagery to describe a relationship.

‘Cry Baby’ is very poppy and fun, and because of this is very accessible. So is ‘It’s Okay,’ which despite its cheesy lyrics like “It’s okay to say that you love me, / ’cause I think of you, I still think of you” is a hell of a lot of fun. It has a similar piano line to ‘F**k You’ at times, and Cee Lo’s falsetto when singing “PLEASE baby, PLEASE lover” is awesome. His collaboration with Phillip Bailey, ‘Fool for You,’ juxtaposes harsh rhythms in the verses and a smooth chorus of “I’m a fool, such a fool for you” to great effect. It has a sort of strutting rhythm to it, which makes it one of the most original sounding songs on the album. But ‘Satisfied’ is the song that really gives ‘F**k You’ a run for its money. On an album full of retro songs, it out-retros them all with the use of motown-style backup singers adding ‘Oohs’ and ‘Babys’ behind Cee Lo’s vocals.

Unfortunately, a few of the songs fall short of Cee Lo’s true potential. This isn’t to say they’re horrible — compared to a lot of the auto-tuned drivel out there these days, they’re actually quite good — but songs like ‘Old Fashioned,’ ‘I Wan’t You’ and ‘Wildflower’ are lacking that certain something they need to be truly great. They’ve got the album’s characteristic retro sound down, but there is nothing about them that would make them classic. In places, the orchestration is too heavy and overwhelming, and lyrics like “I’ll even quit my job. / Loving you, I’ll make it my job” just don’t cut it when you know Cee Lo is capable of quips like “I guess he’s an xbox, and I’m more Atari.” And ‘Bodies’ relies too heavily on gimmicks like whispers and, um, intimate sounds, and not enough on Cee Lo’s incredible voice. But after the ups and downs, Green closes out ‘The Lady Killer’ with a spectacular cover of Band of Horses‘s ‘No One’s Gonna Love You.’ While some of his songs fall flat, it has real soul and personality to it, and showcases his voice spectacularly well. ‘No One’s Gonna Love You’ is a reminder of what Cee Lo is capable of at his best — it’s just a shame not all of the songs are as good.


Watch the video for ‘Bright Lights, Bigger City’ below.


Lead single ‘F**k You’ was TGTF’s Video of the Moment back on 10th September.

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