Eminem Watch Out, Here Comes Cee Lo Green's Four-Letter Soul: CD Reviews

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Source: Elektra Records via Bloomberg.

The Cee Lo Green solo CD ``The Lady Killer.'' The star born Thomas Callaway is best known for his work with Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley.

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Source: Elektra Records via Bloomberg.

The Cee Lo Green solo CD ``The Lady Killer.'' The star born Thomas Callaway is best known for his work with Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley. Close

The Cee Lo Green solo CD ``The Lady Killer.'' The star born Thomas Callaway is best known for his work with Goodie... Read More

Source: Sony Music via Bloomberg

The new Elvis Presley album "Viva Elvis." The album was released on Nov. 9 and features remixes of some of the star's greatest hits. The music is used in a Cirque du Soleil show. Close

The new Elvis Presley album "Viva Elvis." The album was released on Nov. 9 and features remixes of some of the star's... Read More

Source: Mercury Records via Bloomberg

Elton John, left, and Leon Russell pose for the cover of their album "The Union." John, a long-time admirer of Russell, proposed the collaboration, which also features Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and Neil Young. Close

Elton John, left, and Leon Russell pose for the cover of their album "The Union." John, a long-time admirer of... Read More

Source: Shorefire Media via Bloomberg

The cover art of the CD "National Ransom" by Elvis Costello. Costello has released more than 30 studio CDs. Close

The cover art of the CD "National Ransom" by Elvis Costello. Costello has released more than 30 studio CDs.

Source: Asthmatic Kitty Records via Bloomberg

The cover art for "The Age of Adz" (2010) by singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens. The star, who has announced plans to record an album named after every U.S. state, has taken time off the project to make a record about science fiction. Close

The cover art for "The Age of Adz" (2010) by singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens. The star, who has announced plans to... Read More

Source: Columbia Records via Bloomberg

The cover art of "Record Collection" by Mark Ronson. The album has guest vocals from Boy George, Ghostface Killah and Simon Le Bon. Close

The cover art of "Record Collection" by Mark Ronson. The album has guest vocals from Boy George, Ghostface Killah and Simon Le Bon.

Source: Shorefire Media via Bloomberg.

Elvis Costello, a U.K. singer-songwriter, poses before the release of his 2010 studio album ``The National Ransom.'' Costello has released more than 30 studio CDs. Close

Elvis Costello, a U.K. singer-songwriter, poses before the release of his 2010 studio album ``The National Ransom.''... Read More

The voice is as soulful as Al Green’s, as smooth as Marvin Gaye’s. Cee Lo Green’s CD out today, “The Lady Killer,” stakes an aggressive claim to take the title of the King of Soul away from the late Otis Redding.

Green, 36, came to prominence with his velvety vocal “Crazy” for Gnarls Barkley. Now he’s known for his riposte to a former girlfriend, titled for radio “Forget You.” It’s on the new Elektra album in the original four-letter-word form along with a dozen more, mixing imagined Bond themes with synth pop such as “Bright Lights Bigger City.” Rating: ***½.

Elvis Presley’s even more distinctive tones grace “Viva Elvis,” also out today. The CD is a radical remix of his hits. Purists who hate the idea of anyone messing with the King should note that this was done with the blessing of Elvis Presley Enterprises. For starters, crowd sounds, sound bites and “Also Sprach Zarathustra” begin the countdown to “Blue Suede Shoes.” Rating: ****.

The Presley record is based on a show for Cirque du Soleil, which also remixed the Beatles for “Love” and is planning something similar for Michael Jackson. The late King of Pop has “Vision,” a three-DVD set of most of his videos and a new album “Michael,” both due before Christmas.

Elton John has linked up with one of his inspirations, Leon Russell, to make “The Union” (Decca/Mercury). On tracks such as “When Love Is Dying” the CD recalls the glories of John’s 1970 “Tumbleweed Connection,” though this time with a choral arrangement by Brian Wilson and production by T-Bone Burnett. Rating: ***.

T Bone also produces “National Ransom” (Universal), the latest by Elvis Costello, with Russell also chiming in. After more than 30 albums, Costello’s still the king of the sharp couplet: “My lovely Jezebel,/ she neglects and then ransacks you so very well.” Rating: ***.

Artists predictably topping the Billboard charts include rapper Eminem and acoustic rocker Jack Johnson, who broadens his surfing imagery on “To the Sea” (Universal). Cover albums by Neil Diamond, 69, (“Dreams,” Sony) and Rod Stewart, 65 (“Fly Me to the Moon,” J Records) will leave many fans in despair. Ratings: **.

The Age of Adz” by Sufjan Stevens is the latest wayward project by the 35-year-old on his own Asthmatic Kitty label (named after a stray feline adopted by his family). The CD schizophrenically shifts from quiet to loud and signs off with the 25-minute “Impossible Soul.” Rating: ****.

Mark Ronson continues to prove he’s more than Amy Winehouse’s producer. His CD “Record Collection” (Columbia) moves on from 1960s retro-pop to plunder the 1980s, with vocals by Boy George and Simon Le Bon. Rating: ***½.

Jason Derulo’s self-titled debut on Warner is a lean 31 minutes of R&B including the single “Ridin’ Solo.” Derulo’s Jackson inspiration is clear. Rating: **½.

Two band leaders have made impressive solo CDS on the theme of love: Black Francis of Pixies with “NonStopErotik” (Cooking Vinyl) and Fyfe Dangerfield, of Guillemots, with “Fly Yellow Moon” (Polydor). Also recommended: Fionn Regan, “The Shadow of an Empire” (Heavenly) and Tom McRae’s “Alphabet of Hurricanes” (Cooking Vinyl). Rating for all ***.

What the Stars Mean:
****       Excellent
***        Good
**         Average
*          Poor
(No stars) Worthless

The CDs are priced from $12.98, or 8.99 pounds in the U.K. Download fees vary across services.

(Mark Beech writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own. This is the second of a series of three on 2010 music.)

To contact the writer on the story: Mark Beech in London at mbeech@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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