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Cee Lo puts new spin on old-school sound on ‘Lady Killer’

Submitted by Matt Johnson on November 20, 2010 – 4:00 pmNo Comment

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“Well, hello there,” begins Cee Lo Green’s third solo album, “The Lady Killer.”

“My name is….  not important,” he continues.  And so commences one of the best albums of 2010. You might know Green as a former member of Goodie Mob or one-half of the duo Gnarls Barkley, but after “Killer,” he might be on a first-name basis with a few more people.

The intro to “Killer” sets up Green as a pseudo James Bond character, which really the only gripe I have with the album. The music stands on its own, making the intro and outro unnecessary.

“Bright Lights Bigger City” will have you wearing out the repeat button. Stabs of synth, and a bass line, which is eerily similar to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” signal the beginning of what could be my favorite song of the year. The production is tight and Green’s vocals are allowed to be the real centerpiece here. Waves of orchestration and horns join the party to make this an anthem for an endless weekend.

“Wildflower” is an ode to love. “The picture is perfect, a keepsake ‘cause the occasion’s rare / It’s poetry in motion, I’m just proud to say that I was there,” he sings. Winding strings lead to a chorus that is both beautiful and full of emotion. “Wonderful wildflower, open up let me see, sexy hints in season, share your sunshine with me.”

Green has been mixing soul, funk and R&B since his Goodie Mob days, but with this album he’s achieved something special. The music sounds simultaneously fresh and retro.

“Bodies” finds Green using his “License to Kill” on a certain lady. “The wine is white and the lights are dim, they warned you don’t go home with him,” he sings. “Satisfied” updates the Motown sound complete with horns and back-up singers, and could have been a hit 40 years ago.

This album is bound to be on many critics’ top ten lists. It’s rare to be able to listen to an album all the way through and be constantly surprised and impressed, yet Green has managed this feat with flare. Do yourself a favor; go buy this album.

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