TURN IT UP: Cee Lo’s skill knows no bounds in ‘Killer’

by Staff

Courtesy of Cee Lo Green

The new album from the former Gnarls Barkley frontman is Grammy bait

By Drew Scoggins, Staff Writer

It is difficult to classify Cee Lo Green. Given that he is the former frontman for Gnarls Barkley, a band known for its outlandish stage performances and unorthodox style, it was widely assumed that Cee Lo’s first solo album since 2004 would be something a bit different.

Different does not even begin to describe “The Lady Killer.” Starting off the album in a raspy whisper, Cee Lo introduces himself and then states that he has a license … to kill. Cue bad guy music and ‘70s spy movie theme music. The entire album plays out like a James Bond movie, with Samuel L. Jackson as Bond and Quentin Tarantino at the helm. It’s loud, brash, sexy, funky, soulful and just plain fun. The carefree nature of the album is displayed prominently on the single “F— You,” a swaggering, foulmouthed anthem directed at all the gold-digging heartbreakers in the world. It’s a beautiful gem of pop and soul and really opens the door for the rest of the album.

Song after the song, the album rolls along beautifully. The rhythm of the album as a whole is nearly perfect; each song seems to blend into the next one without seeming repetitive or boring. After the listener is hooked, there is a bit of anticipation from song to song because it’s anyone’s guess as to what Cee Lo will do next. A perfect example is the transition from “Old Fashioned” a slow, swaying ballad into “No One’s Gonna Love You.” That’s right, a Band of Horses cover. It’s a cover that retains its indie rock vibe, but Cee Lo’s arrangement and delivery gives the song an entirely new perspective and is an excellent take on the original.

Overall, “The Lady Killer” is an incredibly strong album that is buoyed by Cee Lo’s charm and eccentricity. It is definitely a different take on pop music and is definitely worth a listen.

Artist: Cee Lo Green

Album: The Lady Killer

Label: Elektra

Grade: A