How did Cee Lo Green‘s debut Cee Lo Green and his Perfect Imperfections become well…shall we say imperfect? Record sales that’s how. While his debut was critically acclaimed the masses wanted no parts of it which resulted in a paltry +250,000 sales. Not perfect by any means. Why you ask because Andre 3000‘s The Love Below (coupled with Big Boi‘s Speakerboxx), went multi-platinum and Cee Lo was on the same wavelength, why didn’t he go at least gold? Maybe because Cee Lo didn’t have a crossover smash like “Hey Ya!” Or maybe because he enlisted himself as executive producer and completed the album in-house. Well whatever the case may be, Cee Lo is out to correct his imperfect debut by correcting his so-called mistakes and bringing his magnetic pot-bellied persona back with Cee Lo Green is the Soul Machine.
Cee Lo this time answers all his skeptics with an all around solid yet completely accessible album. From the soulful sounds of “Living Again” to the ridiculous romp with Ludacris on “Childs Play” (surprise! Ludacris steals the show once again) on to the Neptunes laced funky as hell “Art of Noise” to the Timberland led lead single “I’ll Be Around” Cee Lo proves to have one helluva eclectic album on his hands. His versatility shines throughout as he proves time and time again that he may be one of the most talented and diverse artists period. He balances his singing and his rhyming so incredibly well this time out that there should be no complaints about which way he goes musically. He even manages to make a banger for the clubs without sacrificing an ounce of integrity on the Jazzy Pha laced and T.I. (this kid is blowin’ the F up!) assisted “The One.” Not only is it ready for airplay with its female friendly hook and vibe but it’s Cee Lo at the top of his game. Another eyebrow raiser is when DJ Premier turns his signature sound in for the dark and gloomy vibes of “Evening News.” And don’t think that it’s all crooning for the pot-bellied southerner.
He still manages to rifle off signature solid rhymes on the heavy sounds of “Glockapella.” And while Cee Lo is known to jump on his soapbox and preach as only he can, (on “Die Trying” he laments “I know you don’t hate me/I’m just not sure anyone appreciates me/see I’ve been having a hard time selling my albums lately/recent news, The Source couldn’t find any microphones to rate me/using words like extreme and alternative to equate me/which is true I’m in a box with a view, but you still want to gate me/I could be a pretty good thug, but it wouldn’t compare to a great me”) he still encompasses a personality that makes him adored no matter what may come out his mouth.
With this release Cee Lo cements his status as a solo artist amidst the One Monkey Don’t Stop the Show release from his former cohorts the Goodie Mob. With an album this amazing, who needs the show when you are the show yourself? As he states on the outro when his boy states “Shit Lo…What don’t you do?” the soul machine replies as only he can “Fuck Around!”