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Album review: Cee Lo Green's 'The Lady Killer'

November 10, 2010 | 10:24 am

Ceelogreen “The Lady Killer,” the latest solo album from Cee Lo Green, sounds like something Don Draper would put on the hi-fi, if he’d been raised in Detroit on equal parts Motown and head-bobbing hip-hop. For every swanky old-school touch, there’s a glassy modernity that makes the album a sexy sonic adventure of loving and leaving.

Green, for all his heartbreaker bravado on the opening track, has also suffered some gut punches, as “... You” and its viral video can attest. Pitching his voice high and low, whiny and tough, Green attacks the song with the kind of Broadway-style gusto that’s fixed him as one of the best performers in the game. Perhaps his biggest flip-off should be reserved for the record industry, who for so long didn’t give this vocal supernova due attention -– until “Crazy,” his missile to the moon with collaborator Danger Mouse for Gnarls Barkley.

Though “The Lady Killer” purports to slay the feminine gender outright, it’s actually more of a standoff situation. On “Love Gun,” a Cupid-as-sniper vamp ready for the next James Bond movie, Green and Paradiso Girl Lauren Bennett take turns circling each other, getting in a bullet here and there, but who knows when either will fall?

Either way, it’s not Green’s caddish ways that charm. Rather, as “Cry Baby” shows, it’s his big heart underneath. Ladies, next time you see a satin hankie tucked into the pocket of a player, know that it might be wet with his own tears.

-- Margaret Wappler

Cee Lo Green
The Lady Killer
Elektra Records
Three stars

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