Nobody’s going to dispute the fact that Cee Lo Green’s having an excellent year, full of splashy TV showcases and even splashier swears and a single that’s conquered everything. That’s the thing, though: “single” is singular. “Bright Lights, Bigger City” had a decent TV/The Voice run, and “I Want You” and “It’s OK,” uh, existed. This isn’t surprising at all for someone whose big hit depended on novelty as much as songcraft (to be fair, both existed en masse, but be honest), but it does make Cee Lo Green’s year a bit weird, running on momentum and personality and not much else.
Now there’s a new single, “Cry Baby,” and the guiding principle seems to be “how can this be a meme?” The premise: to showcase a lot of pretty ’50s and ’60s dresses against pastel-built architecture–the visual equivalent of The Lady Killer‘s sound, perhaps. Cee Lo isn’t in it; Jaleel White plays him as a character. Yes, Cee Lo Green is now a character in a music video with an instantly recognizable personality. It involves fun and block parties and carefree retro revivalism. Sure, why not?