Review: Cee Lo Green, ‘The Lady Killer’

Review: Cee Lo Green, ‘The Lady Killer’: Aidin Vaziri | Attempting to top a gargantuan hit like “Crazy” might seem to be an improbable task, but, after a couple of misfires, Gnarls Barkley singer Cee Lo Green comes awfully close on his third solo album, “The Lady Killer.” The leadoff single, “F- You” (or, as it appears on the radio, “Forget You”), is the most obvious contender, with its barrelhouse vocals, showbiz soul and explosive viral pull. With that chorus, it just might not go down as well at wedding receptions as its chart predecessor. But it’s hardly the singer’s only hope for breaking the one-hit-wonder curse. Even without super-producer Danger Mouse at his side (the album features an all-star cast of knob twiddlers), Green exhibits an exceptional knack for crafting all-guns-blazing retro funk anthems such as “I Want You” and “Cry Baby.” The only thing the album lacks is the darker hues that made Gnarls Barkley sound so thrilling and frightening. In fact, there are a couple of moments here when things go downright wobbly, such as “Fool for You,” which features backing vocals from Philip Bailey, and the thoroughly unremarkable “Wildflower.” But those digressions are generally balanced out by fascinating diversions such as the electro-hued cover of Band of Horses’ hymnal “No One’s Gonna Love You,” which closes the set.

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