Tag Archives: Gnarls Barkley

The Best Songs of 2010: #3: “Fuck You” by Cee Lo Green

28 Dec

New Years Eve is just a few days away and our countdown is coming to an end. Yesterday I featured “Another New World” by Josh Ritter which is a spectacular song off of his recently released album. I shared with you my thoughts on the remaining four songs. Each one can easily be the best song of the year. I actually feel bad slighting songs that I believe deserve #1 credits. But, I must realize that this is one person’s pretty much unimportant attempt to create a list of fantastic songs (that not all think are good) and nobody really cares where the songs stand. That does not mean that I will not feel bad (even though the artists couldn’t care less). I want to keep this countdown as fair and balanced as possible. That is one of the reasons why “Fuck You” by Cee Lo Green is on the countdown (and so high up). While most music that flourishes in the mainstream is garbage, Cee Lo Green has found a way to create popular music that demonstrates refreshing talent. “Fuck You,” despite its angry implications is an aboveboard example of this excellent talent. Let me explain.

Artist: Cee Lo Green

Song: “Fuck You”

Brief disclaimer: I like keeping the blog clean of unsavory language. Yes, call me a FCC puppet but I like to consider this blog a source for professional music coverage and, let’s face it, you don’t see imprecations lining the New York Times’ broad sheet. But, it is not my place to censor an artist’s vision and Cee Lo Green proudly tells his doubters “Fuck You” in the successful single. I will keep it the way it is. I understand why the radio must censor “Fuck You” and replace it with “Forget You,” but, I do find it funny that Cee Lo Green has actually made it so hard on them by creating such a popular single with a curse in its title. Here is Cee Lo Green with, uh, “Forget You”?

He must be laughing about this. And, truthfully, this is one of the reasons I love this song. Consider what Cee Lo Green does with this song. He creates a catchy pop single that the public goes wild about and fills it with obscenities. It is like a giant middle finger to…well…everyone. I love it. It’s raw and fresh. It’s just never been done before. The song is ruthless but so incredibly candid. A big problem with a lot of music is that it is disingenuous. Cee Lo Green takes that problem and defenestrates it. He then goes to the window and proudly shouts “Fuck You.”

Cee Lo Green’s odd musical life has taken him from being a hellion in a hip/hop group to a collaboration with none other than Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley). “Crazy” is an excellent song. Passion just erupts from it. “Fuck You” emits a different feel but it definitely evokes passion in both Cee Lo and the listener. He is musically diverse and wildly talented. I am going to make a bold statement. I don’t believe that anyone in the past 20 years has been able to crack into mainstream radio music and produce songs that actually portray musical talent with such diversity as Cee Lo Green. The only one I can think of is Eminem, and, despite a few exceptions, he has stayed in his rap niche.

“Fuck You” is a warped Motown song. Everything from the old-school video with the corny dance moves to the call and response to the soul swing and vocal. It’s funky and fun. Cee Lo Green displays his vocal range and at times even introduces humor into the song. It is bright Motown with a spiteful “Fuck You.” In the breakdown Cee Lo basically cries out and then proceeds to continue with his curse tirade. Seriously, “Ain’t that some shit.” At the end of the song (which portrays Cee Lo’s experience with numerous heart breakers) he has turned into the lady killer in a sharp suit. “Fuck You” juxtaposes a catchy pop beat with Cee Lo’s dirty mouth. It is excellent and well deserved of its spot on this countdown.

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