Sometimes we surprise ourselves. For instance, when we wrote the words “showstopping Liberace meets Big Bird ensemble” on this site, they described not Cee-Lo Green but Rick Ross. Consider ourselves chastened (and confused); no man has done more this year to embody those words than Lo. The clout of the costuming, in fact, has gotten him two upcoming projects: a British TV show called Cee-Lo Takes the U.K, also featuring Goodie Mob, and–more pertinently–a Vegas show at Planet Hollywood named perfectly: “Loberace.”
See, folks? When you try really, really hard to accomplish something, like performing at Vegas, you can do it! We know this thanks to a New York Times article about the branding involved in trying really, really hard, which has its own lesson: “see, artists can become big public figures even if their album sales are secondary!” Oh, you could pick apart the article if you want, such as its apparent belief that Cee-Lo’s career started in 2005 as a jobbing songwriter who hit it big with the Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t Cha.” (Goodie Mob? Two separate solo albums, some tracks off which charted? No but seriously, you mention Goodie Mob elsewhere but not here?) But it’s more than worth the read, if only to learn just which TV projects trained Cee-Lo for more TV projects and how Cee-Lo earned his spot amid the bright lights in the big city.
Then again, you could also watch his videos, which lately have two themes: “I quite like retro depictions of the ’60s” and “VEGAS!” The former describes most of The Lady Killer and certainly its accompanying videos, but you’d be forgiven for missing the latter for a while. First, of course, was “Fuck You,” whose video said “this is kinda theatrical and splashy, no? Those adjectives can be applied elsewhere, right?” taken up an exponent with every feathered-and-spangled live performance. Then came “Bright Lights, Bigger City,” which all but ordered you to identify said city and its lights, the breezy cinematic music being your clue. And if that clue didn’t clue you correctly, “I Want You” dropped all clueing whatsoever and said “LOOK, I’M IN VEGAS NOW, OK?” And now he is!
The two takeaways: Cee-Lo is going to be gaudily omnipresent at least through 2012, and sometimes music videos come true.