Cee Lo Green is probably best known as the man who provides the powerful vocals we can hear over Danger Mouse’s beats in their joint project, Gnarls Barkley. With Danger Mouse working on Broken Bells with The Shins’ front man, James Mercer, it seemed like an ideal time for Cee Lo to continue his solo career. ,” F*** You,” the first single off of The Lady Killer was released to critical acclaim. Upon first listening to it, I felt like someone had almost perfected the art of creating an anthemic pop song. Even with crushing, pain-inflicted lyrics, somehow it made you feel triumphant. Although The Lady Killer does not have a song more immediately exciting than “F*** You”, you will not be disappointed.
What I love about this album is the lack of fillers. Every track was written in such a calculated, precise manner, that you could easily picture them pulling song names out of a hat just to pick the next single. Each song was given respect and carefully treated to be something special, with memorable choruses and groovy Motown beats found throughout the album that give you a nostalgic feeling.
Even though that is the general mood of the album, each song carries something unique. “Bright Lights Bigger City” is a disco-infected anthem, “Satisfied” keeps the album upbeat and “F*** You” is a miserable, yet cheerful track, which celebrates cursing those to blame for his broken heart. However, not every track is as jubilant. There are some darker songs, such as “Bodies,” where Cee Lo seems to have taken the album title literally; “I Want You” is a melancholic slow jam and “Cry Baby” somehow makes him the victim after dumping his girl. All of the songs carry a trace of their more old-fashioned influences, but are turned modern and refreshing.
Even though we are familiar with Cee Lo’s appreciation for covering songs that go beyond his usual genre, I was surprised he included a cover of “No One’s Gonna Love You.” It is my favorite song by Band of Horses, and I was excited to see what Cee Lo had done with it. The song turned into a beautiful ballad and I can truly say he made it into deserving equal praise to the original.
This album is infectious and entertaining from start to finish. I highly recommend it for anyone who isn’t feeling very experimental and just wants high quality, catchy pop songs. Even though you should not expect the same production on The Lady Killer as a Gnarls Barkley album, the songs are catchier and Cee Lo’s incredible vocals are still present. Overall, you won’t find anything groundbreaking that pushes the limits of musical creativity, but it is an extremely refreshing album for its almost perfect mastery of creating pop songs.