CeeLo Green Tries to Atone for Past Sins on Comeback ‘Heart Blanche’: Album Review

Ceelo Green
Heart Blanche
Album Review
3.5
Courtesy of Atlantic Records

CeeLo Green's fifth solo LP ­probably should've been called My Bad instead of Heart Blanche. With songs like "CeeLo Green Sings the Blues" and an intro promising "a look into my soul underneath my celebrity skin," it's clear the Goodie Mob/Gnarls Barkley/Voice vet is mourning his fall from grace after pleading no contest to ­slipping a woman ecstasy and then tweeting ­repulsive ­opinions about rape in 2012. Green's albums are usually a good time (even 2010's "F--- You" was more singalong than sendoff) but this one is full of remorse. On "Robin Williams," he sings, "We don't know what the next man's going through," using the star's suicide to ask listeners to see him as a person rather than a persona. On "Race Against Time," he wails he's still a winner even if he lost "your war of words." Heart may be a measured apology, but Green still has a defiant streak.

This story originally appeared in the Nov.  21 issue of Billboard.