The Singles Bar: Cee Lo, “Anyway”
Posted by Reviewson 11/10/2011 at 6:03 PM
It’s about time that Rivers Cuomo of Weezer started moving behind the scenes with his musical talents. The guy is an obscenely talented popsmith, and some of his work with Weezer over the last half decade has gone insanely underappreciated—though that’s understandable, givne what a straight-up weird dude Cuomo comes off as. Fact of the matter is he is probably at a point in his career where his skills would be better served in service of a personality that is not his own, so it’s good to see him writing for an artist like Cee Lo—another decidedly left of center talent who could use a little personality filtering on occasion.
From the beginning, you can tell things aren’t going to be par for the course for Cee Lo—if such a concept even exists—from the 4/4 beat, replete with tambourine, which gives way to more of a shuffling drum track, with off-beat piano and choppy guitar. It’s all very disco and not even in the glittery Ke$ha sense, but in more of a ’90s UK house sense—like the guys heard that dance music was the big thing now, but didn’t bother doing the research to update their mental framework for what exactly that phrase entails in the year 2011.
To their credit, the song’s no worse for being out of step. It’s a very nice club-ready ode to unconditional love, Cee Lo shouting out the woman who “puts up with all [his] shit” and “still loves [him] anyway,” over a beat that’s all hands-in-the-air release and general good vibrations. Cee Lo’s voice sounds lovely as always, double-tracked over itself on the chorus with over an octave separating the two lines in what is undoubtedly the song’s high point. It might not sound like an obvious hit, but then again, it’s not like “Crazy” and “Fuck You” were just like everything else that was out at the time either.
More surprising, perhaps, is how little it sounds like any of the music we’ve come to expect from the two artists involved in its composition. But perhaps this is just the sound of two eccentric pop masterminds trying to sand the edges off one another, and as that, it’s pretty decent.
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