Album review: CeeLo Green - Heart Blanche
- Credit: Archant
The Atlanta soul-pop juggernaut gets stuck in a low gear, says Stephen Moore.
The multi-Grammy-winning CeeLo Green has compiled a glittering roll-call of co-writer and producer royalty to work with him on this LP’s 15 tracks.
Yet what we’re being served from the CeeLo cafe, his first all-new record since 2010, is luke-warm at best. Hankering for another Forget You? Forget it.
Perhaps the best offering is Tonight, a highly-strung, high-tempo dancefloor number with its gaze fixed to the sky. Dressed in lavish symphonic orchestra and intergalactic brass, it thunders towards ‘70s disco bliss via War Of The Worlds.
The rest is almost uniformly half-baked, with flaccid chord changes and little to prop up hum-drum verses or mask questionable lyrics.
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“Life reminds me of Robin Williams...” he half-raps on Robin Williams, “...We’ve got to laugh the pain away”.
The hip-hop track, which also name-drops Philip Seymour Hoffman and Richard Pryor, is wincingly ignominious.
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The poet’s art has also deserted him on Est. 1980s, a brash and jarring song; Run DMC, Madonna and Duran Duran are unlikely to thank him for the uninspiring tribute.
And CeeLo Green Sings The Blues is passionately sung over lamentable plinky ‘80s synth-soul
All in, the frustratingly vanilla Heart Blanche is proof that a great voice needs an equal in songwriting and melody before it truly sparkles.
Rating: 2/5 stars