Less than 55 days until the beloved season of Christmas and CeeLo Green releases an album loaded with 14 holiday classics. Besides his appearance as a coach on “The Voice,” CeeLo’s last work was “Lady Killer” with the hit “Forget You.” This surprising Christmas album, “CeeLo’s Magic Moment,” with horses pulling a red Cadillac sleigh on the cover, makes me nervous that CeeLo will butcher the most wonderful time of the year.
An hour long album full of Christmas songs by a man who turns around in a chair with a cat or parrot? What am I supposed to expect? Green opens the album with “What Christmas Means to Me”—without any of his innovative, technologic twists—in its original tune debuted by Stevie Wonder. The progression of the album reveals a classic holiday album just as any other artist, but Green includes his quirks in subdued tones within each track. Timeless Christmas tunes like “White Christmas” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” remain true to the original tracks, with an added funky R&B twist. It is CeeLo’s original “All I Need Is Love” featuring The Muppets that adds character and demonstrates the creativity he became known for with “Crazy” in his duo Gnarls Barkley just six years ago. However, CeeLo loses me when collaborating with the a cappella group, Straight No Chaser, on “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” The vocals are pristine and sharp, covering all octaves for the Dr. Seuss classic, but the song is just too perfect; I do not want to hear the angelic, harmonious melodies of the 10 men and CeeLo Green. That’s not what comes to mind when I picture the Grinch stealing Christmas.
“CeeLo’s Magic Moment” compilation of holiday classics from the ‘70s to his original tracks stays true to CeeLo Green and his quirks. Without a doubt, Green’s voice and funk shines a playful light on these beloved Christmas songs, which one can either love or hate. In my eyes, the moment was more a pleasant than magical experience as he did not ruin the holiday season as I expected.