Cee Lo Cee-Lo Green & His Perfect Imperfections

Ever since Cee-Lo's voice was first heard on Outkast's Southernplayalisiticcadillacmusick 1994 debut platter, it's been pretty evident that Cee-Lo could break out all by himself. He was always the most charismatic performer in the Goodie Mob, and after their disappointing third album World Party favoured partying over politics, it was only a matter of time before Cee-Lo's solo record saw the light of day. Cee-Lo's high-pitched, rapid-fire rhyme delivery and soaring spiritual singing voice is a truly unique combination. He favours his singing voice heavily here, coming up with astounding results on the freaky-deaky "Closet Freak," the blues-rock-fuelled "Follow Me" and bouncy reflective "Getting Grown." He also throws in "Damn" as compelling evidence to debunk the perception that rappers from the South have inferior skills. But total creative control for the entire album is a double-edged sword for a talent as expansive as Cee-Lo's. His over the top yet tongue in cheek ego-tripping is well balanced by his more familiar introspective and thought provoking material, but it's probably a few songs too long and some tracks seem to tread water. This is forgivable to an extent, given the fact he was originally supposed to be a solo artist and this is clearly a personal statement he's obviously been waiting for a long time to do. Furthering the future funk ethos of Atlanta's Dungeon Family, Cee-Lo confirms the talent that many knew he had all along. (Arista)