Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Top 100 Songs of 2011 - #100: "Fool for You" - Cee Lo Green feat. Melanie Fiona

Cee Lo Green's stellar 2010 spilled over handsomely into 2011 as well. Smash single "Fuck You" was still in the top five of Billboard's Hot 100 chart at the beginning of the year, and second single "Bright Lights Bigger City" made waves later in the year -- not to mention, of course, a judge spot on NBC's The Voice. To cap it off, The Lady Killer was nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Pop Vocal Album.

On the record, Green croons a soulful "Fool for You" with Earth Wind & Fire's Philip Bailey. Though an acceptable performance in its own right, it was bested in early May with the release of an alternate version for the single -- this one featuring Canadian R&B singer Melanie Fiona.

As with much of The Lady Killer, "Fool for You" has a distinct throwback feel to it. Remember the refreshed feeling you felt when first heard "Fuck You," the feeling that Green had a foot in both the past and the present with the recording? "Fool for You" is much of the same, but with even more retro sounds and production. The song transports listeners back to the 1970s, when soulful R&B was arguably at its most prevalent.

Green's vocal, particularly on the falsetto, is near-perfect, a telling snapshot of the time period. And Fiona holds her own on her verse, providing a slightly less soulful vocal put up against Green, but it works well as a duet nonetheless. Neither commands total control and attention, and their voices mix well together against the retro production.

The single may not have performed to the degree that its predecessors did, but "Fool for You" was nominated for two GRAMMYs -- Best Tradional R&B Performance and Best R&B Song. While the competition is mighty stacked, don't count them out for the distinction.

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