93.) Cee-Lo - Cee-Lo Green...Is the Soul Machine (2004)

In between the time he helped put "Dirty South" hip-hop on the map with Goodie Mob and the time he became an international, multi-platinum superstar with Gnarls Barkley, Cee-Lo Green released two peerless solo records. This is the second.

The first was titled (brilliantly) Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections and it was weird. Like, really, really weird. All over the place weird. Proudly weird. His second, Cee-Lo Green...Is the Soul Machine is weird too, but it's a helluva lot more accessible.

Fill disclosure - when I was a Page at NBC I used to have to work audience for Last Call With Carson Daly and that's how I discovered this record. Cee-Lo performed on that show one night and was fucking nuts. I loved it. I went out and bought the record and it became one of my favorites for a long time. So, essentially I owe Carson Daly for Cee-Lo. I guess I would have found about him sooner or later regardless, but I can't say for sure. So, thanks Carson Daly. Thank you very much.

Cee-Lo Green...Is the Soul Machine (by the way, there's something so wonderful about his declaring himself THE soul machine as opposed to say, A soul machine) is a varied record for sure and it has it's share of quirks, but with the help of producers like Timbaland and The Neptunes he managed to focus just enough to create a left-of-center R&B masterpiece. Cee-Lo's basically the R&B/Soul version of Captain Beefheart. Cee-Lo Green... Is the Soul Machine didn't crossover the way it should have and it remains a lost gem, a record that I hope more people gave a chance to after the success of Gnarls Barkley because though Gnarls are great they have never recorded anything as absolutely perfect as "The Art of Noise" and yes, that includes "Crazy."

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