As one of Southern rap's underground kings via Atlanta Soul Food pioneers Goodie Mob, Thomas DeCarlo Callaway thumped strange fruit atop hip-hop's house of thugs. Church rang the cannon ball MC's big brass bells, and by 2002's Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections, the 5-square-foot force of nature already spazzed a straighter, narrower path that dead-ended on Cee-Lo Green ... Is the Soul Machine two years later. Neither predicted Gnarls Barkley. The Lady Killer subsequently evokes Raphael Saadiq's 2008 breakout, The Way I See It: a modern Motown disc, brilliant singles and double the B-sides. The Barkley bomp of "Bright Lights Bigger City" sets up viral Internet smash "Fuck You" (here as "Forget You"), then Lauren Bennett shoots up the 007 "Love Gun" of the album's titular promise, followed by second big city single, "Satisfied." It all goes down like kung pao chicken and Sapporo, but you'll be at Church's in an hour.
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