Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Album: Cee-Lo Green...Is The Soul Machine
Artist: Cee-Lo

Either you like Cee-Lo or you don't. Either you enjoy his shrieky/gravely voice or it sounds like fingers on the chalkboard. Either you're down with his attempt to put songs of every style and shape on his records or you wish he'd stick to the dirty south rappin'. I myself have been down with Cee-Lo since his appearance on Outkast's Get Up, Git Out (Off their first album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, when Andre was wearing Atlanta Braves jersey's and not neon green Cherokee brave outfits - some of you might not be as familiar with that album as their latest "must have" album, but I digress.)

"Have mercy, I don't mean to be heavy, if I seem to be heavy" croons Lo on The Art Of Noise, where he's joined by Pharrell in one of two duos between two of the weirdest sounding singers going. While he might not mean to be heavy, surely he means to be funky, and he accomplishes this right from the jump, kicking the album off with 6 excellent jams strung back-to-back. Cee-Lo has enlisted an array of heavy-duty producers in his pursuit of the funk. But whether Lo's crooning a love song, rapping down south double time, or doing spoken word (no joke), the album still has a consistent vibe. The Neptunes help out with the afore mentioned Art Of Noise (which contains "Replayed Elements" from These Eyes - The Guess Who in this bizatch!), Timbaland and Jazze Pha get their crunk on for I'll Be Around and The One respectively, Organized Noize crank out a hyper cartoon-theme styled jam for Lo and Luda to abuse on Childz Play, and DJ Premier contributes a surprisingly unique track for Evening News. Cee-Lo's a man of many flows and they work better on this album than on his first album Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections.

What we have here is an album as funky and soulful as any recent release. Oh I can hear you out there "But what about The Love Below, surely you don't think..." - stop right there friend. I think this album compares favorably with Andre 3000's eclectic effort, and might in fact be a better all around album. So if you liked Love Below, do yourself a favour and get with the The Soul Machine.


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