Wednesday, November 17, 2010


It's this year's Back to Black (Amy Winehouse) in the sense that it is rare that a Traditional R&B/Soul album finds crossover success in this day and age.  Soulful Cee Lo Green releases his third solo studio effort The Lady Killer after a brief turn in the duo Gnarls Barkley, which saw the massive Billboard Hot 100 Chart number two hit single Crazy in 2006.  Back again and front-and-center where he belongs, Green is a star in a genre where Male Vocalists have been lacking for quite some time.

We've all heard Fuck You, or depending which part of the world you're located, FU or Forget You. The Smeezingtons-produced (includes Bruno Mars) hit has caught-on internationally with its Curtis Mayfield-like Motown swagger, appealing even to the most wholesome of demographics, with Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow just having covered it on Glee. Ideally, it would have been great if they could have lent their hands to a couple more collaborations here considering the magic they achieved together. But is Green a one-hit-per-album type artist? The Lady Killer certainly would prove that assumption wrong.

Bright Lights Big City is classic R&B, the type Smokey Robinson and and The O'Jays made, punctuated with the presence of a String Section; a fitting follow-up to the thrill of the album's first single. Green helps the amazing Salaam Remi (Amy Winehouse, Jennifer Hudson, Fergie) in co-producing the track Love Gun, taking a backseat to Guest Vocalist Lauren Bennett for a moment. What results is a bit of a James Bond-type moment, which works considering that much of the album is an homage to another era.

Satisfied is delightfully sunny and instantly likable, while Cry Baby owes much credit to some fantastic Horns as without them, it is just another sweet Motown number. Both tracks are produced by Fraser T. Smith, who has had a hand in some greatest tracks in recent memory, namely Broken Strings (James Morrison ft. Nelly Furtado) and Break Your Heart (Taio Cruz). Green digs deeper emotionally on another Remi collaboration Old Fashioned, which really would have already been a fitting tight finish to the album, over No One's Gonna Love You.

Although not all equally listenable, Cee Lo's The Lady Killer still is cohesive, v. solidly produced and highlighted by some undeniable moments of soulful bliss. The album from Warner Music is now in stores. Grade: A-


  1. It's a pretty brilliant album from my perspective, and it's vying for my top album of the year. I'm with you on the omission of "No One's Gonna Love You."

  2. what else is vying right now for your album of the year?