Tag Archives: Cee Lo Green

A Review Of Christina Aguilera’s ‘Lotus’ By Brittani ~ The Girl You Want


Christina Aguilera has found success as one of the coaches of ‘The Voice,’ helping others to try to achieve their dreams of superstardom. She returns to her roots with her new album Lotus,” her seventh studio release. After the commercial and critical failure that was her last album “Bionic” and a canceled tour as a result, many wondered if she would be able to bounce back and reclaim her throne on the pop music mountain.

Even though she insists that people didn’t “get” “Bionic,” I think she learned her lesson as the problems that plagued that album aren’t here on “Lotus.” For one, producers like Max Martin and Alex da Kid are used better here than some of the people she worked with on “Bionic.” The latter of whom she worked with on T.I.‘s “Castle Walls,” one of the best songs she’s done that isn’t her own. Although I’m much more of a fan of artists like M.I.A. and Goldfrapp, maybe it was for the best that she went more mainstream for this one even though it gives the album my only real issue, it sounds too much like what’s popular these days.

Christina has been accused of “chasing hits,” which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. and it’s good that she did it with some of the most capable hit makers in the business right now. “Lotus” opens with an intro that samples M83‘s ubiquitous “Midnight City,” where she sings “To the sky I rise/ Spread my wings and fly” before going on a spiel about the lotus flower which inspired the album’s title and imagery. I put this up there with the intro from “Stripped,” it perfectly sets the tone of the album.

I was hoping the next cut “Army of Me” was a cover of Bjork‘s song, how great would she sound doing something like that! It is however, a good kiss off song, perhaps aimed at her ex-husband Jordan Bratman. The next track “Red Hot Kind Of Love” details her starting over and trying to win over a guy. There’s too much going on vocally here, but the beat is fun and I love the way she sings the “coooools.”

Cee Lo Green makes an appearance on the chorus of  “Make the World Move“.  I do wish they would have really sung together, as they both know how to belt it out. Her lead single “Your Body” might not have gotten the love I think it deserved but it works as a sassy bridge to songs like Let There Be Love which is much more radio friendly.

It wouldn’t be a Christina Aguilera album without some soaring, piano driven ballads. The best of which is “Blank Page,” which was co-written by Sia Furler, showcases her voice the way songs like “The Voice Within” do. The other big ballad, “Best of Me,” features the line “I won’t let you bring me down.” Sound familiar?

Christina also duets with Blake Shelton on “Just A Fool,” one of the later tracks that has a bit of a Country feel to it. They sound great together and surprisingly she doesn’t overpower him on the song. The closer “Light Up The Sky,” which is on the deluxe edition along with a remix of “Your Body,” ends the album on a positive note. Christina has earned a reputation for being a Bitchy McBitch, but damn if she can’t deliver some emotional and uplifting songs.

The standout track for me, and in my opinion the best on the album is “Circles” where she repeats “Spin around in circles on my middle, middle finger” in the chorus and coos out “motherf***er” throughout. It reminds me a lot of “Make Over” from “Stripped” which was kind of an underrated gem. I wouldn’t rank this up there with “Stripped” or her debut, but “Lotus” is a much more cohesive and mature record for her that I hope fans and naysayers embrace.

The Voice Recap, Night 5 Of The Battle Rounds


I’ve been a bad, bad recapper. I skipped last Tuesday’s show, although I have to say we didn’t miss much, but Monday night’s episode more than made up for that. It’s the next to last Battle Rounds, with Adam and Christina putting together four of their best singers for the two best battles. [Editor’s Note: In Brittani’s defense, The Voice wasn’t even aired on the west coast–at least not in Seattle, due to local political debates.]

Team Cee Lo

Alexis Marceaux and Daniel Rosa went head-to-head on Adam Lambert‘s “What Do You Want From Me.” This wasn’t the best song choice for either of them. Alexis’ classical training made it hard for her to really get into the groove of the song and Daniel worried he wouldn’t be able to hit the notes in the song. Alexis was oddly supportive of him, not understanding why he was doubting himself and thinking he had the advantage because he has already been on the show.

Daniel sounded better during the final rehearsals, maybe Rob Thomas telling him his nerves made his voice sound more vulnerable helped, and Cee Lo getting a little pissed him. Daniel said he didn’t “want to sound bad,” which was just honest, and while I didn’t think him or Alexis sounded “bad” they weren’t all that great either. This is a very shouty song and I think Alexis got a little lost in it. She actually started off the song standing behind Daniel. Blake and Christina gave the battle to her, but Cee Lo goes with Daniel because of their connection. No steals for Alexis.

Team Adam

It was old school vs new school with Nicole Nelson and Brandon Mahone. Adam picks “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” as their song, a perfect duet song for their voices. Brandon notes that Nicole had “no weaknesses,” which freaked him out a bit. I don’t think Brandon had anything to worry about but he let himself get intimidated. Adam told him that he needed to believe in himself more during their sit-down and he bonded with Mary J. Blige over their shared story of trying to make it for their families.

Nicole took Adam’s advice too literally though. During final rehearsals he told her that “less is more” and I think she held back too much during their performance. There was room for some big notes for her but she didn’t go for it. Blake and Christina liked her though, with Cee Lo calling the battle evenly matched. Adam picks Nicole and makes sure he hugs Brandon who unfortunately had no steal opportunities.

After this we got a montage of the unseen battles. Team Adam had Brian Scartocci vs Loren Allred, with Loren taking that one. Joe Kirkland went against Samuel Moulton, getting to stay on his team. From Blake’s team, Cassadee Pope, who was kind of a stand out during auditions, defeated Ryan Jirovec.

Team Christina

Finally, Christina had 15-year old MarissaAnn and 20-year old Devyn DeLoera sing En Vogue‘s “Free Your Mind.” I love this song, didn’t love that she gave it to them. I mention their ages because apparently this was a big factor in who the other coaches thought won the battle. The girls have very similar voices, which is probably why Xtina put them together, and she was looking forward to the vocal cat fight. I liked the way they started the song off , same arm movements and everything but this wasn’t as good as it could have been. Now I really don’t think age factored in anywhere here, even though Adam was still blown away by the fact that MarissaAnn is only 15. That may have been why Christina wanted to give Devyn another chance, MarissaAnn and all the letters in her name still have a number of years to go. That left her available to be stolen by Blake who adds her to his team.

So Christina has the last steal, which I’m sure we’ll see happen on Tuesday night. Blake said he was being a little stingy about using his so we’ll have to see who Xtina chooses to give her last one to. Did you enjoy the little singing we got to hear before the Presidential Debate? (Or directly after if you live on the left coast.)

See y’all tomorrow!



‘The Voice’ Recap, Final Night Of Auditions


The 4 coaches fought hard for their last two team members on Monday night’s episode. There were a lot of young singers auditioning and almost all of them had a sob story, it was like they were competing for a “Life Sucks” award rather than ‘The Voice.’ Still, there was some great talent to choose from, even if they were all youngins.

Team Christina

We were given 15-year old Nathalie Hernandez who was the first singer up with Taylor Swift‘s “White Noise.” Before she got to the third word in the first verse Blake hit his button and Christina quickly followed. I thought Natalie had a nice, clear voice but could work on her stage presence just a bit. Cee Lo thought she sounded as innocent as she looked, which was kind of a creepy comment. Even though she chose a Swifty song, that’s not the direction she wants to go in which disappoints Blake. I’m not that familiar with Taylor’s catalog of “I’m blonde, pick me, my ex is stupid, that black guy was mean to me once” songs, but this was a good choice for her and she chooses to be on Xtina’s team.,

Christina’s 16th team member was Celica Westbrook, a 16-year old who has been in the business for a while. She almost toured with Justin Bieber at one point but God intervened. So she decided to take a chance on ‘The Voice‘ and auditioned with Christina Perri‘s “A Thousand Years.” Adam sat this one out, which meant Celica had 3 coaches to choose from but it really came down to Cee Lo and Xtina. Aguilera praised her voice and said that she needed to be on radio, which I think won Celica over.

Team Adam

Caitlin Michelle from Boston suffers from a panic disorder and the remedy was more cowbell. Shunning medication, she turned to music to deal with her panic attacks. Her dad and a friend with a sweet handlebar mustache came along to support her. Her friend probably can’t sing, but the mustache man, I hope we get to see him again. So she auditions with Florence & The Machine‘s “Cosmic Love” which wasn’t bad but, I think she tried too hard to sound like Welch during some (most?) parts.

Although that is more an issue with Florence’s songs, like Alicia Key songs, where you kind of have to strain to hit those notes. Blake thought it was powerful, but Adam waited to turn because he thought there were some pitch problems. Christina helped him score Caitlin though by saying that she should go with him because he’s a “risk taker.” So congrats on getting Caitlin for your team, and being the Randy Jackson of the coaches, dude.

Adam’s last team member is Kayla Navarez, a 17-year old who has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Her dad was diagnosed with a liver disease and her mother is single handedly taking care of the family. She just wants to succeed for her family and I was already rooting for this girl. She starts off strong Estelle‘s “American Boy” and Adam instantly tuns but has to fight Christina and Cee Lo for her. He thought she sounded “seasoned” and Adam thought he lost her when she said she grew up listening to Christina, but I think she made a wise choice by going with Adam.

Team Blake

Nicole Johnson has obviously been working towards this for a long time. She finally settled in Nashville with her family after making over 40 trips there to start her career. Now this is what I appreciate about the show. These contestants are ready and already know the business. She pulls out the Country version of Kelly Clarkson‘s “Mr. Know It All” for her audition, which attracts Blake of course and Adam and Cee Lo. I’m sure she knew Adam and Cee weren’t the right coaches for her or her voice, so she goes with Shelton.

The only oldie, but goodie, to audition was 46-year old Rudy Parris. He gave up his career to take care of his daughter, and now that she’s out on her own with her daughter, it’s time for him to get back to doing what he loves. Rudy wasn’t my favorite of the night but his acoustic rendition of “Every Breath You Take” was pretty good. It was Blake vs. Cee Lo, and this guy was right up Green’s alley if only for his hair but his roots are in Country music and he goes Shelton, completing his team.

Team Cee Lo

I have to agree with something our friend @TJNEONLIMELIGHT said while we were live tweeting the show, Cee Lo is lazy. Maybe it’s because he’s leaving this show after this season, but it just seemed like he wasn’t really trying to catch the best singers who were auditioning. He did get Chevonne, a backup singer who toured with Lady Gaga. She could have easily auditioned with one of her songs, she already knows her whole catalog, but she goes with The Pretender‘s “Brass In Pocket.” Blake, and Carson Daly from backstage, scream at Cee Lo to push his button but he waits until almost too late to turn along with Blake. Even though Shelton’s contestant, Jermaine Paul who was also a backup singer, won last year, she picks Cee Lo and I hope she does well on his team.

The final contestant of the night was Country boy Cody Belew. I couldn’t get over his porn-tastic name, or the fact that he said he must have been an elderly black woman in a past life. He was hoping that Cee Lo would end up being his coach and he got his wish. He goes with “Hard To Handle” as his audition song and it gets the crowd riled up pretty good but the coaches stay still. Cee Lo turns at literally the last note, and somehow it still counts. He was more than excited that not only did he get to stay in the competition, but Cee Lo was his coach. He even jumped down from the stage, happily shouting expletives along the way, to give his hero a hug. Needless to say, Cody and Cee Lo were made for each other.

The ones that weren’t so lucky. Former boy band member Rod Michael, another perfect porn star name, was desperate for another chance at a career. I’ve never heard of the group he used to be in, B3, but I think his problem was that he still hadn’t graduated from that sound. They’d probably love him on ‘The X Factor’ though.

Then there was French teacher Kameron Corvet who was my favorite of the night but got no turns. I agree with the coaches that his performance of Seal‘s “Crazy” never really went anywhere, but it was good. Also getting no turns was Jessica Cayne, again another good porn name if it isn’t already taken. She was ambitious, but the coaches weren’t moved. You could really tell she was trying to get them with the last couple of notes during Carrie Underwood‘s “Good Girl” but at least she got the crowd going.

Tuesday night’s episode is a look back at the auditions, just in case you forgot what happened over these last couple of weeks. All 4 coaches have their 16 members, which means the Battle Rounds start next week and I can’t wait because that means we’ll be seeing the coaches in different outfits. Oh yeah, there will be great singing too!