Goodie Mob One Monkey Don't Stop No Show

The moniker affixed to the long-awaited release from Southern outfit Goodie Mob cryptically refers to the absence of the enigmatic Cee-Lo Green, who has gone on to solo semi-stardom. After flirting with commercialism à la Outkast via 1999’s ill-advised World Party, Goodie Mob wisely return to their hard-edged socially conscious roots. But along with Cee-Lo, also seemingly gone is the group’s trademark ghetto spirituality. While Khujo, T-Mo and Big Gipp grudgingly soldier on, it’s painfully obvious that Cee-Lo repped the soul of the group. Although propped up by the always solid Organized Noize production crew, it only serves to reinforce that Goodie Mob’s normally tasty musical gumbo is missing a key ingredient. Nowhere is this clearer than through tracks like "God I Wanna Live” where guest rapper and Cee-Lo impersonator Witchdoctor makes for a poor substitute. Flashes of classic Goodie Mob flare up with the introspective tracks "What You See” and "My Homeboy.” And they really shine on "Play Your Flutes” (featuring the always smooth Sleepy Brown). But such flashes, sadly, are not enough to illuminate this project. In the hip-hop scheme of things, Goodie Mob has always been held in high regard. They stand just below Outkast in terms of wide recognition and high above their crunk-obsessed Dirty South brethren. And that’s what makes their latest effort that much harder to stomach. (Koch)