In this day and age of music, hearing stabbing synths at the beginning of the song is likely as not a surefire sign for one of those trashy, throwaway party anthems that’ll sound huge on the dance floors of clubs across the UK and, if it’s lucky, the US, too. However, this assumption and the air of snobbery hanging around it is merely a cynical and slightly condescending approach to any such song introduction. It is, in shortened terms, a very silly bit of prejudice.
Cee-Lo Green’s first two release from his current album, ‘The Lady Killer’, to those who haven’t bought it, has undoubtedly released two very obviously soul-infused pop songs which, even to an untrained ear, had striking similarities in both structure and sound. Nonetheless, something very surprising – and that surprise is very much a good one – has happened here, with the third release which, incidentally, was originally scheduled for second release. ‘Bright Lights, Bigger City’ opens with a sonic synthesised chord progression and soon dives straight into a thumping production with all the dance groove of a 90’s club anthem, the pleasant freshness of contemporary edginess, and all the effortless classiness listeners subconsciously relate to him after the mere mention of his name.
His lyricism here is a model of perfectly executed wittiness married with his raspy, soulful vocals to make an excellent delivery of both vocal and melodic production, which is seamlessly joined by some dramatic strings towards the finale. “You can’t say want you won’t do/’Cause you know that you just might”, now, as someone who has never been a particular fan of Cee-Lo, and his all-too-obviously gimmicky ‘Fuck You’, or even the overplayed ‘Crazy’, back from 2007, ‘Bright Lights, Bigger City’ is a genius complementing of jazz, soul and modern day electropop.
For the purpose of amazingness, we’ll ignore the version with Wiz Khalifa’s cameo.
Here’s the video: There’s a lot of bright lights…
This video is truly something for, in the first time since ever, we can actually see Cee-Lo’s eyes. Fascinating stuff.
‘Bright Lights, Bigger City’ is, for me, Cee-Lo’s most diverse and dynamic work to date. On relatively uncertain ground, he masterfully pulls of the hybrid genre, resulting in his most enjoyable, late-night party anthem that revitalises the trashier same-old club anthems from the same-old synth-hoarding artists.
Rating: 5.0 STARS
Download: April 3, 2011 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: The Lady Killer’