Cee-Lo's strongest asset is his voice. Comfortable as both gospel singer and pimp, the Dungeon Family rhymer blends the two and adds more than a healthy dose of Al Green. His words seem almost impossibly syncopated, yet never sound forced. On the two more straightforward hip-hop cuts, "Big Old Words (Damn)" and "One for the Road," Cee-Lo proves he still has the skills to battle anybody on the mic.
Still, it's the simple songs, like "Gettin' Grown," that steal the album. With lyrics like "And when I fall it's usually hard/But I get up and keep following God," the song reveals a direct correlation between Cee-Lo and Brian Wilson, as does the touching "Under the Influence (Follow Me)," which, in pure Wilsonesque splendor, declares: "I've forgotten where I've come from/I can't remember where I'm going/So when you take my hand/You just got to trust me/Even though I'm blind."
Musically, the album flows effortlessly from the rootsy funk of "Closet Freak" to the dubby psychedelia of "Basehead Jazz." In short, Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections may well join the list of modern music's most important albums.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.