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Cee Lo Green opens the holiday season

Review: Cee Lo’s Magic Moment by Cee Lo GreenBy Nicholas Hautman

Cee Lo Green has done just about everything. He previously had a successful musical career under the name Gnarls Barkley. In 2010 he returned to his original name and released the boldly titled hit “F**k you” which was nominated for Song of the Year at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards. He is also a coach and judge on the hit TV show “The Voice.”

Now, Green is adding yet another element to his résumé – a Christmas album. The 14-track disc, entitled “Cee Lo’s Magic Moment,” is composed of a variety of holiday tunes, ranging from the religious classic “Mary, Did You Know?” to a jolly rendition of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” There are few artists in the music industry who are as equipped to cover such diverse assortments of songs as Green is.

“Magic Moment” includes collaborations with Green’s “Voice” co-judge Christina Aguilera, Straight No Chaser, Rod Stewart and The Muppets. The duet with Christina Aguilera in “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is charming and bluesy until the last minute when Aguilera screams her way through the final verse. She sounded entirely imbalanced with Green’s suave vocals. In contrast, Green’s duet with Rod Stewart is one to be remembered. Stewart’s raspy voice blends perfectly with Green’s soulful crooning on “Merry Christmas, Baby.”

Another highlight is the album’s upbeat opener, “What Christmas Means to Me.” The track stays true to its original Motown roots while simultaneously sounding like a modern R&B tune. Green’s cover of “All I Want for Christmas” lacks the oomph that Mariah Carey brought to the legendary original version. On the other hand, “Silent Night,” the last song of the album, is extremely memorable. His interpretation starts off a cappella but ends with an ensemble of percussion, strings, and a choir. It is the perfect way to end an album that is filled with a gamut of holiday spirit that only Cee Lo Green can deliver.

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