“F**K You (Forget You)” Cee-Lo Green (#4 Hot 100, Week of April 23, 2011)
It’s times like this that I am proud to be an Atlantan. Cee-Lo is quite the unlikely character in the upper reaches of the Hot 1oo, hobnobbing with Rihanna and Katy Perry. He’s a unique artist who has massively succeeded without compromising an inch. This record is closing in on 4 million downloads and has been on the charts for well over half a year. I’m sure no one thought he could ever top his Gnarls Barkley smash “Crazy,” but “FU” is, if anything, an even bigger phenomenon.
OK, enough gushing. This rollicking rock/Motown throwback joint bristles with anger and anguish, making the multiple expletives seem, well, entirely justified. But the anguish is just stylized enough, and leavened by the brightness of the arrangement, that it reads more as a joyful kiss-off rather than the bitter words of a tormented soul. The bridge of the song channels much of the torment, but it’s so campy and cathartic that you have to believe that the narrator is completely over it by the song’s end.
I’ll eat my keyboard if this song isn’t an instant classic. This is how it’s done, folks. And don’t even try to talk to me about the lack of originality and quality in today’s music. If you do, I have two words for you. Tell ’em, Cee-Lo…