Goodie Mob, "Age Against the Machine" (Alliance Entertainment)
Goodie Mob reunited for their new album, "Age Against the Machine," but the foursome's offering seems more like the CeeLo Green show.
It is Goodie Mob's first album in 14 years as a complete group (Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo released the album, "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show" -- a diss to Green -- in 2004).
But Green, a six-time Grammy winner, clearly stands out with ease alongside his longtime group mates for much of the 17-track album. While the others have some shining moments, Green's talents shine brighter on this project.
His soulful vocals and lyrics are strong and digestible on songs such as "Nexperience" and "Ghost of Gloria Goodchild." He sings about his first interracial relationship on "Amy," and talks about how his burgeoning star appeal as a solo artist has given him some advantages in life on "Power."
Goodie Mob's messages are thought-provoking and insightful throughout their fifth album. They touch on topics from bullying (the Janelle Monae-assisted "Special Education") to artistry in music ("State of the Art (Radio Killa")) to race ("Kolors"). Production-wise, there are some missteps: Some of Goodie Mob's sonically enriched tracks lack their signature Southern sound, including "I'm Set" and "Come As You Are."