Cee Lo The Lady Killer

Cee Lo The Lady Killer
Over the course his career, Cee Lo Green has played a number of different characters: good-natured Goodie Mob rapper; Southern singing eccentric; and, as half of Gnarls Barkley, a funky evil genius. But as some sort of half-charmer, half-with-it uncle for new solo throwback record The Lady Killer, this version of Cee Lo sounds the least familiar, perhaps because it's the most outwardly jovial we've ever heard him. Sure, he's got a lot to celebrate: a vibrant, long-lasting career; songwriting successes for other artists like the Pussycat Dolls; and money in the bank (yeah, I said it). Pretty good for a critically acclaimed rapper, don't you think? But move past the stylized veneer of explosive mega-single "Fuck You" or the swaying soul trappings of the fluttery "Old Fashioned" and you'll catch Cee Lo's inner quirks. Slipped beneath the brassy melodies, tight drums and really big sound (see the "Billie Jean" bass line and hummy post-boy band chorus on "Bright Lights, Big City") are self-deprecating lyrics and ideas, right down to the theme. What Cee Lo wants to do right now is make and sell records. The Lady Killer ― mature and playful, serious and smiling ― lets him do both. (Elektra)