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Cee Lo Green

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:47 am
by howard male
Has anyone (or their kids) got a copy of this? It's really pretty good - Stax and Motown plus a touch of Luthor Vandross - epic pop/soul of as higher standard as one can expect from the mainstream these days. And the guy writes all his own material (there's some fine melodies here.)

Re: Ce Lo Green

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:50 pm
by Tom McPhillips
Yeah, I mentioned this already - he was on a show I did a couple of weeks ago, where he did a great version of "Forget You" (the sanitized one), complete with "Apache" sample, totally over the top performance, then there was a nice interview on NPR, showcasing a very well produced album - the guy's got talent!

Re: Ce Lo Green

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:52 pm
by AndyM
One of the albums of the year. Don't forget the bits of Philly filigree alongside the other influences/homages.

Re: Ce Lo Green

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:00 pm
by howard male
Yeah, I realised the guy wasn't new new news. But for those who've still not seen it, here's the video of the year that goes with the unsanatised version of the track. If only this was just one small clip of a whole feature-length movie!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc0mxOXbWIU

And the album's full of tunes this good.

Re: Ce Lo Green

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:44 pm
by Jonathan E.
I've given it a couple of listens and felt the same as I always seem to feel about these semi-retro soul numbers — elements of it are very good, but somehow the whole just does not hang together. The instrumentation is overdone; the performance is erratic; the groove isn't there; it's brutal sounding. It's one or another of those things nagging at me intermittently. I'm glad to hear these things once or twice, can quite enjoy bits and pieces of it, but I never feel like we're getting a new contemporary classic that people will listen to in 40 years. Perhaps it's just that I'm not compatible with contemporary sensibilities.

Anyway, it's Cee Lo Green. And the title of his hit single is probably unacceptable to use on this forum, amusing as the song is.

Re: Ce Lo Green

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:54 pm
by AndyM
Much as I like the album, I concur with Jonathan's proposition that it's better enjoyed in chunks. As singles, really, which once again aligns CLG with the great soul tradition - it was never an album genre, a few marvellous exceptions aside.

Re: Ce Lo Green

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:00 pm
by Nigel w
John Legend and the Roots do this retro-soul stuff with so much more style and pizazz on their new album, Howard.

I seem to recall you didnt think much of that release , though, so I'd be interested to hear why you think Ce-Lo Green works and Legend/Roots doesn't.

For me, it's exactly the other way around. To my ears, Jonathan E is right. Green's sound is ''brutal'' and ''erratic'' , and the prime reason for that is because, withe odd exceptions, the groove simply isn't there.

Re: Ce Lo Green

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:11 am
by howard male
The Ce Lo has wittier and better songs, for two things. Plus I like a bit of brutality in my retro-soul (love those John Barry Bond-ish chord progressions) and a strong pop sensibility, both of which the Legend album lacks.

But Andy’s right – it’s an album of would-be hit singles and clearly designed to be so. For example, ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ shamelessly borrows the groove and almost the bass line of Jackson’s ‘Billy Jean.’

The bottom line is I just love great pop and what I've heard of the Legend album just isn't great pop.

Re: Ce Lo Green

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:35 am
by AndyM
Another factor differentiating the two is that Green is full of wit and humour, where Legend seems staid and almost academic. Joyfulness versus joylessness.

Re: Ce Lo Green

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:59 am
by Nigel w
howard male wrote:The Ce Lo has wittier and better songs, for two things. Plus I like a bit of brutality in my retro-soul (love those John Barry Bond-ish chord progressions) and a strong pop sensibility, both of which the Legend album lacks.

But Andy’s right – it’s an album of would-be hit singles and clearly designed to be so. For example, ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ shamelessly borrows the groove and almost the bass line of Jackson’s ‘Billy Jean.’

The bottom line is I just love great pop and what I've heard of the Legend album just isn't great pop.


Ce Lo (or rather Cee Lo) 's album may well have ''wittier'' songs. It would be odd if it didn't because the album by Legend and the Roots is a collection of pretty angry 60s/70s protest/social-consciousness songs by the likes of Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, and Bill Withers. Whether Cee Lo writes ''better'' songs than those soulful dudes of a bygone era is, of course, a subjective opinion, and I have to respect your belief that he does.

But I am puzzled by the ''what I've heard of the Legend album'' line, Howard. Are you saying you didn't actually listen to it as an album, but only heard a few tracks before you dismissed it?

I have listened to the Cee-Lo ''Lady Killer'' record all the way through. And I have to agree with others : while it may contain a few very good singles (''Fuck You'' is great, even though I really wanted to dislike it), its 18 songs really struggle to work as a 60 minutes-plus album listening experience. Apart from anything else, it's way too long and 15-20 minutes could have easily been chopped from it.

Anyway, both albums are available on Spotify, so anyone can compare and contrast without having to shell out...

Re: Ce Lo Green

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:26 pm
by AndyM
All (non-compilation) albums are too long these days. I blame those pesky new-fangled CD things.

Re: Ce Lo Green

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:33 pm
by Nigel w
AndyM wrote:All (non-compilation) albums are too long these days. I blame those pesky new-fangled CD things.



Don't worry, Andy. There's a rumour we will soon be able to do away with the pesky, new-fangled things. I've heard hush-hush stories of something called an 'information super highway' in which - I know this is incredible to believe - all data, music and even films will be available digitally, the world over, at the press of a computer button. It is even said - and I accept this really strains the bounds of our incredulity - that there will come a time when every home will have one of these computer thingummies!

And if that happens, nobody will bother listening to boring LPs that outstay their welcome any more, and the new age of the (digital) 45 rpm will be upon us, as we just ''download'' the tracks we like and ingore the rest !!!

Re: Ce Lo Green

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:16 pm
by howard male
Nigel Wrote –

But I am puzzled by the ''what I've heard of the Legend album'' line, Howard. Are you saying you didn't actually listen to it as an album, but only heard a few tracks before you dismissed it?


Indeed I am, Nigel, and I’ve dismissed many other albums on even less evidence. What a naughty critic I am! But as I'm sure you've often found – it doesn’t take long to work out whether an album or an artist is up your street or not. I also caught him live on 'Later' and simply had my earlier dismissal confirmed by his over-earnest yet somewhat contained performance and his X-Factor-ish persona (I also recall Marcia lasting about 20 seconds, her face screwed up in distaste.)

But did I at any point say that Cee Lo is better than Gaye, Mayfield and Withers? Just because a singer has adopted many of the stylistic divices and mannerisms of their favourite artists of the past, it doesn’t mean they have even an ounce of their charisma or power. In the end the impression I got of the Legend album was that it wasn’t terrible, it was simply unnecessary.

But talking of not listening to albums properly, Cee Lo’s album has only 13 not 17 tunes - and including its bonus track it’s only 47 mins not ‘60 minutes plus.’ So maybe you should be paying more attention in school too, Nigel.

Re: Ce Lo Green

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:55 pm
by Nigel w
howard male wrote:But did I at any point say that Cee Lo is better than Gaye, Mayfield and Withers?


Yes. You said Cee Lo has ''better songs''' than those on the Legend/Roots album. The songs on the album are written by Gaye, Mayfield, Witherrs, Hathaway et al. If you think Cee Lo's songs are ''better'' than those gentlemen's compositions, then as I said I am happy to respect your opinion, although I cannot agree with it. But anyway, from what you say it is quite possible you haven't even heard the Marvin and Curtis songs on the Legend album, so unless you know them from the originals and are making a direct comparison with that, then I can't see you are in a position to say Cee Lo's album has ''better songs''.

howard male wrote:But talking of not listening to albums properly, Cee Lo’s album has only 13 not 17 tunes - and including its bonus track it’s only 47 mins not ‘60 minutes plus.’ So maybe you should be paying more attention in school too, Nigel.


The version I'm listening to here has 17 tracks, including an intro and outro, and clocks in at over an hour. So perhaps you should ask for your money back if you've been shortchanged!

Re: Cee Lo Green

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:37 pm
by howard male
It was a birthday present so I can hardly ask for my money back. But in an odd sort of way I feel I got the better deal, presuming the least good tracks were left off to make it the album of my (and your) desired length.