Motown is back in a completely modern way with ‘The Lady Killer’. Cee Lo Green is doing what he does, as he states in the intro “I do what I want.” This self-proclaimed ‘closet freak’ brings his twisted sense of art to an album full of beats, tambourines and his soulful, soothing, tenor voice. It’s not without it’s R&B, but that’s all appropriately mixed in.
The Lady Killer Theme Intro (and Outro) are completely out of place on this album. Why would you ever let anyone believe this album is anything like the guitar riff used in both, then have a duet in a clearly Earth, Wind, Fire-fashioned song with the legendary Philip Bailey? It simply doesn’t work.
Their duet, Fool for you, isn’t a highlight on this album but it lyrically bridges Cry Baby which portrays a woman being dumped by a man who clearly feels bad but wants to get rid of her and “It’s OK”. It’s OK is about loss and longing for that one person you let go. Again, it’s Motown musically – but lyrically it’s now. Cee Lo speaks of the girl having a tattoo with his name on it then states periodically in the song, “how can you regret me when you know you can’t forget me?” Who hasn’t been there?! The best part is—even though the nature of the songs are disheartening, they’re backed musically with horns, bass and pop-styled beats that would make the Temptations proud.
So, maybe he’s trying to portray the album as some sort of bad-ass 70s movie where he is the super hero, sometimes villain. The Intro fits in this case and the riff works perfectly with the opening song, Bright Lights Bigger City. We completely buy this theory because this song has the funky 70s vibe that will play in your head as theme-walking music. It’s just fun.
It’s the odd transition of the Outro that follows the amazing, noteworthy cover of Band of Horses song No one’s Gonna Love You that will boggle your mind. But, hey, that’s classically Cee Lo. He goes from singing a sweet song about a Wildflower then gets creepy with the sexy, twisted ditty Bodies.
It’s laughable that he so easily and completely brings this 1960s era of music to the present, 2010. Berry Gordy would have fallen off his stool if someone came into the studio with any part of the lyrics to F**K You. Brilliant song — it is easy to see how it’s been a completely viral hit, as the radio version just doesn’t compare.
The highlight song of the LP, by far, is the track Satisfied. This has to be Cee Lo’s best love song, and its done in a style that is perfectly suited to him and this album. The first two drum beats reel you in and the rest will leave you, well, satisfied. I Want You follows, not only as the next track but also in a similarly styled love song — just slower pace.
Even in the most serious nature, lyrically, Green still brings a light hearted, uplifting approach to every song with beats and background singers that will leave you shaking your hips and bobbing your head. It’s no wonder his solo albums have been marked as critically acclaimed. It’s settled, do what you want (as Cee Lo always does) but make this your weekend binge.
Written by Natalie Kontur