“Sometimes I wanna rap. Sometimes I wanna sing.” These are words from Cee-Lo’s sophomore effort, Cee-Lo Green is…The Soul Machine. He has decided to unleash his vocal prowess at full force with his third solo album, The Lady Killer. No raps, no awesomely gimmicky Gnarls Barkley costumes, no Goodie Mob combo action, just pure, unadulterated singing. Some performers sing, but on The Lady Killer Cee-Lo is out there sanging!
The Lady Killer Theme (intro) has Cee-Lo talking to the listener in his oh-so-smooth voice: “People ask me what I do for a living. I say, ‘I do what I want.’ I’m not above the law, and I’m certainly not lawless, but when it comes to ladies, I have a license to kill.” Then we hear his James Bond-esque Lady Killer theme song which blends perfectly into Bright Lights, Bigger City’s synthesizer heavy opening. BLBC and its glamorous video (below) allows everyone listening to know that “It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!”
From there, Cee-Lo’s strong, unmistakable voice takes over the great instrumentation on tracks like first single: pissed off and jealous, ex-boyfriend anthem Fuck You. (“I guess she’s XBox, and I’m more like Atari, but the way you play your game ain’t fair.”) The video for Fuck You (below) is a timeline of Cee-Lo’s love life, and it is fantastic. Watch it.
Other highlights from the album include basshead jazz sounding Bodies (“They say that chivalry is dead, then why is her body in my bed?”), upbeat and snap-along Satisfied, and ‘70s inspired, cruising tune Fool For You featuring Phillip Bailey.
Cee-Lo comes with it again on the last two tracks as well: No One’s Gonna Love You has Cee-Lo belting at the top of his Grammy award winning lungs that no one is ever going to love you as much as me. The song ends, and we are whisked away to his outro, another rendition of The Lady Killer Theme. Remember, he’s got a license to kill…
Cee-Lo has taken the direction of transforming those feelings into an album that will remain timeless in its raw, emotional electricity. On this album, Cee-Lo has solidified himself as more than the visionary rapper and singer from Goodie Mob, more than one half of Gnarls Barkley, more than The Soul Machine. He is perfectly imperfect as one of our most gifted artists. Thank you Cee-Lo for ever evolving, and for being unlike anyone in the industry. And thanks for this timeless album, too!