Cee Lo Green: Heart Blanche

Posted November 22, 2015 by in r&b



1.5/ 5


Genre: ,
Producer: , ,
Label: ,
Genre: R&B. soul
Producer: Cee Lo Green, Alex 'AK' Kresovich, Brian Kennedy, Charlie Puth, Cook Classics, Daniel Ledinsky, Eg White, The Futuristics, Jack Splash, Jamil "Digi" Chammas, John Hill, Jon Bellion, Mark Ronson, Sean Phelan, Sonny J Mason, Tommy Hittz
Label: Atlantic
Format: Digital download, compact disc
Time: 53:12
Release Date: 6 November 2015
Spin This: "Cee Lo Green Sings the Blues," "Music to My Soul"


Cee Lo motivates himself to produce more, pours out memorable tortured soul on "Cee Lo Green Sings the Blues"


Stale arrangements, missed opportunities and uninspired lyricism pulls Green away from

The Lady Killer loses mojo on fifth solo album

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

The Lady Killer loses mojo on fifth solo album

With Cee Lo Green‘s third solo album The Lady Killer dropped, it proved he was much more than just a one-hit wonder. His voice, basking with an all-original falsetto and lots of Aretha-baked soul, was the album’s centerpiece, but that glorious effort was also highly powered by the Smeezingtons, a powerful underrated force led by Bruno Mars and his songwriting crew. Green’s fifth solo album, once again as a standalone singer and not just as a hook man (Gnarls Barkley) or rap entity (Goodie Mob), finds him surrounded by a new and large cast of producers. It’s largely heralded by Green, but supported by names like Sean Phelan and John Hill. No Bruno Mars or Smeezington crew in sight. Hitmaker Mark Ronson does drop by on “Mother May I,” a song that plays with “Your Love Is Your Love”’s faux reggae and bland world music patterns. Dodge it; it’s no “Uptown Funk.”

But “Mother May I” isn’t the only whammy aboard Heart Blanche. With the opening intro, borrowing a sample of Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom,” it fails to paint a good impression. The embarrassing “Tonight” turns him on to flashy camp, pounding with the gay-centric drive of Bonnie Tyler’s “I Need a Hero.” The lyrics of the hip-hop-flavored blue-collar anthem “Working Class Heroes (Work)” is crazily redundant (“I go to work/Let me see you work”). There’s also “Est 1980,” a homage to Eighties life, which sounds like a forced roll call of throwback idols and pop culture items. Even when Green rips out Bob James’ delicious “Taxi” theme on “Sign of the Times” while bumping out the familiar nostalgic soul of Green’s previous disc, it feels like it’s still in demo mode. He tries for more Lady Killer-esque gold much later on “Better Late Than Never.” But even with its pageantry of Barry White symphonics, the song falls apart at the seams for being so ruthless in its bland lyrical composition.`

Probably the only salvo here here is “Cee Lo Green Sings the Blues,” a song that sways with the earnest emotion of Tyrese’s “Shame.” He belts powerfully these very wretched heartaches as his real life blues are ironed into each note. “Maybe the world would be better off without me,” Green passionately, but painfully sings. Then he launches a continuous tirade of “I am tired” and “I tried” before the song fades like a drenched Dramatics workout. “Music to My Soul” is also pretty digestible. Along with its feelgood melody, there lies a good dose of hip R&B beats and glossy synths. “Robin Williams,” the album’s first single, may have been readily accessible. It does touch on the brilliance of the late comedian and deals with the mourning of his loss. “We don’t know, what the next man’s going through/Wish I could say it in a plainer way,” Green sings, before remedying the problem with a touch of Williams: “We’ve got to laugh the pain away.” But it’s still very hard to even digest his untimely loss that it may take years before the mainstream truly digs into it.

Honestly Heart Blanche should have stayed in the can. Even with fifteen tracks aboard, it still feels incomplete and awkwardly assembled. Without anything significantly strong for radio or sonically challenging to Green’s previous success, this disc offers very little to raise eyebrows or spinal hair. He embarrassingly abandons the soul-pop model and hip beat of The Lady Killer, which causes this record to fall flat on its face. And after all that “I tried” pleading on his new blues torcher, it seems like he simply didn’t try enough. Sadly, this effort only proves that Green’s previous work (even his balanced holiday album) was more about his collaboration with the right producers and other songwriters. Without them, he’s relegated to just being another middle-of-the-road studio creation.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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