Favorite

Cee-Lo 

Cee-Lo Green Is the Soul Machine (Arista)

73993.0.jpeg
Cee-Lo Green's freakadelic solo debut may have established him as a latter-day George Clinton, but he still has the common sense he was born with. A line from his follow-up summarizes his new philosophy: "You're most likely to go broke if you can't bend." That's why hitmaking fellow Southerners like Timbaland and Jazze Pha have been summoned to streamline the former Goodie Mobster's swampy, meandering grooves; channeling Clinton may send critics into ecstasy, but no successful urban artist these days can thumb his nose at the singles charts indefinitely.

But while they successfully shoehorn Cee-Lo's gravelly gospel wail and rapid-fire raps into templates like "I'll Be Around" and "The One," even hip-hop's finest producers can't stop Cee-Lo -- they can only contain him in the clubs for a while. And when he breaks out of the commercial dungeon, the real party resumes. "Sometimes I don't even have a hook . . . sometimes you fail trying," he declares. In fact, his alternating R&B homages and boundary-stretching rarely miss, whether he's crooning a Muscle Shoals ballad about having a "Blockbuster Night" and a morning cuddle, or screaming the scarifying chorus of "Scrap Metal" -- "Almost instantly/I could say fuck it all!" -- atop stabbing, heavy-metal horns.

"Child's Play," a nursery-rhyme romp with Ludacris that borrows its demented swing from OutKast's "The Whole World," should provide a hit to match Cee-Lo's idiosyncrasies. He deserves it -- just ask him. "Sometimes I don't think people know I'm as good as I really am," he growls. Soul Machine and its commercial decoys should address this quite nicely.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Calendar

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Staff Pick Events

  • Rhea Butcher @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Wed., Aug. 24
  • Luenell @ Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant

    • Thu., Aug. 25
  • Drew Michael @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Aug. 25

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation