Cee Lo Green: The Lady Killer

Music •••• Sound ••••


Cee Lo Green called himself “the Soul Machine” in 2004. He wasn’t kidding. On his fourth album, he’s still got it: That smooth megavoice sounds better than ever, and his songs are extra dynamic, melodic, and fun. Plus the smash hit “F--- You!” is here, a sick display of talent, with its R&B rhythm, tasty instruments, and biting flow: “Yeah, I’m sorry, I can’t afford a Ferrari . . . / I guess he’s an Xbox and I’m more Atari.”

Indeed, Cee Lo plays a retro game, but he manages to keep his pop flair, hip-hop edge, and weird persona fresh and up-to-date. On “Love Gun,” where he swaps vocals with Lauren Bennett, gangster-rap gunshot beats strike a noirish round of deadly romance. It’s a gem, and so is the harmonious “Wildflower” and the gracefully arranged “I Want You.” No matter where The Lady Killer aims, the Soul Machine proves he’s a songwriting superstar.