Monday, August 30, 2010

First Listen: Cee Lo Green - "Fuck You"

While debating the best way to kick off Soul Ain't Dead week, I came across a tweet from a friend of mine, emerging young R&B/soul singer Elle B. and needed look no further. Elle has spent much of the last several months gallivanting across the globe backing up Katy Perry on the pop goldmine's promotional tour for the new album Teenage Dream (which as you might have heard dropped a week ago; look for Vertigo Shtick's review later this week). Nation-specific music releasing/availability being what it is, it's a bit of a challenge for our dear Elle to keep up with new releases when the California Gurls are abroad, hence her tweeting search for a killer new track that debuted on YouTube ten days ago and, according to releasing label, has since been featured on over 4500 music blogs. Since I'll do anything for a good friend or a good artist (especially if she's both) and because it's one of the most joyous, deliriously enjoyable new soul tracks in recent history and therefore grade-A evidence disproving the supposed decease of the genre.

You've heard of Cee Lo Green - or at least you've heard him, even if you don't know it. Green is best known as half of the critically worshipped duo Gnarls Barkley (with Danger Mouse), although he had a pair of modest hits in 2002-03 and even sang background vocals on TLC's 1995 megahit "Waterfalls." (He also co-wrote the Pussycat Dolls' debut single "Don't Cha," but bear with me.) Now Green, in advance of his upcoming solo album Lady Killer, has unleashed upon the world a single with a title almost as surprising as how the song more than lives up to the hype such a title invariably (and shrewdly) creates. "Fuck You" is a kiss-off to a gold-digging ex-girlfriend and the fool whose arm on which she now hangs. Not exactly groundbreaking lyrical subject matter, perhaps, but the packaging is a disarming and rare delight: instead of angry guitars and caterwauling, "Fuck You" is a raucus, up-tempo and upbeat 60s-throwback number that could easily be performed by a church gospel choir without anyone raising an eyebrow, so pleasant and joyful is the presentation.

"Guess he's an X-Box and I'm more an Atari," Green sings (not dating himself at all or anything), but after one spin of this I'm guessing you'll be ready to go back and play some Pong.

Check back soon to catch the in-depth Vertigo Shtick interview with Elle B.!
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