Cee Lo Green's Magic Moment

Cee Lo Green

Elektra, 2012


REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck


Can you feel it coming, oh loyal Vault readers? Can you feel the season creeping up upon us? Yes, it is Christmas once again, and you know what that means...yet another series of artists both young and old taking it upon themselves to offer unto the world their versions of songs that have been performed hundreds, if not thousands of times!

Oh don’t worry, I don’t intend on going all Scrooge here. Christmas is one of those times a year when I find it hard to avoid getting caught up in the spirit and just sit back and enjoying the passion and pageantry of it all. I may poke fun at the notion of the annual Christmas record release, but deep down, I admit it’s comforting.

After all, Christmas songs are one of the great shared cultural traditions almost everyone on the planet has participated in some way, shape, or form. Their message of peace, love, and happiness can warm even the coldest heart. I can’t begrudge an artist for wanting to lay claim to a tiny part of that feeling, whatever the results may be (yes, even for my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 A Twisted Christmas).

CeeLo Green has to be just as surprised as anyone that he has reached the level of fame he currently has. Five years ago, ask anybody on the street who this man was, I doubt you would have found more than a handful at most who could identify him. But thanks to his breakout single “Forget You” and a recurring stint as judge on The Voice, Green has ensconced himself into the public consciousness. To be honest, this reviewer feels that is the primary driving force behind the release of CeeLo’s Magic Moment; were he still relatively anonymous would this have been his next musical project after The Ladykiller?

Green’s modern takes on the classic soul sound of the ‘60s never ceases to be endearing nor entertaining. The opening drum kick of “What Christmas Means To Me” leaves no illusions as to what kind of music Green loves; it’s 100% Motown. Granted, some of the arrangements don’t show much imagination, but CeeLo makes up for that with his enthusiasm and what I consider to be one of the best voices in music today.

I have to laud Green for the selection of songs chosen for the album. It’s an entertaining mix of more recent standards like “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and “Mary Did You Know” with the old chestnuts of “The Christmas Song” and “Silent Night.” Not everything lands; his duet with the Muppets (All I Need Is Love”) definitely seems more suited for a non-Christmas setting, and I’ll never understand the popularity of “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” as a standalone performance. I must also give credit for “River” making its way onto the record. It’s a Joni Mitchell song that I had previously never heard that just knocked my socks off with its raw, emotional core.

All cynicism of the holiday and theorizing aside, Green has given the listening public a treat with CeeLo’s Magic Moment. Records like this are always tied to the hip with their subject material (obviously), so their value is derived from how well the listener is entertained.  As far as Christmas records, this is one that can definitely worm its way into an annual listening once October 1st hits (or December 1st if you really want to be a traditionalist).

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2012 Jeff Clutterbuck and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Elektra, and is used for informational purposes only.