Cee Lo Talks New Album 'Girl Power,' Gnarls Barkley's Return

The outlandish singer says fans should get ready for 'an onslaught of music this year'

CeeLo Green
Matt Mills McKnight
CeeLo Green records in the treehouse during the filming of Treehouse Masters on Animal Planet.
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While his duties as a coach on The Voice has kept Cee Lo Green rather busy over the past few years, the soul singer is planning on a rather fruitful year for his own projects, starting with his new album Girl Power, which is tentatively set for release in late-February or March. "I want an onslaught of music this year," Cee Lo tells Rolling Stone

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He's currently in the process of trimming down Girl Power from "40 or 50 songs" to around 13. "Technically and sonically, [I'm] working with new sounds," he reveals. "I could be all artsy-fartsy describing it, but to me this is bare bones rock and roll; which at heart is who I feel like I am. I feel like I'm a rock artist. I don't feel like I'm a pop artist. And I'm alt rock. I'm indie rock. I'm punk rock. Because it comes from the pots and pans. It's a lot of me, but I've got multiple personalities."

Meanwhile, his longstanding hip-hop group Goodie Mob is moving ahead as well. Cee Lo says they've recorded enough material for another record, and also have tracks to contribute to the re-release of 2013's Age Against the Machine, due out this spring in concurrence with his new TBS reality show Cee Lo Green's The Good Life.

Cee Lo also is confident that this year could see a return of Gnarls Barkley, his project with Danger Mouse. "I didn't realize the importance of [a new Gnarls Barkley album] or the anticipation for it until recently," he says. "I was going through an airport at about 5:45am on the way to Atlanta and a guy from TMZ asked me would I be working on another Gnarls. And I was like, 'Yeah, next year.' I was a little dismissive because I don't want to get involved that early – but it just kind of went like wildfire. And I was like, 'Wow, okay. People are still interested to see what we could do.' And so am I. Gnarls Barkley is an alter ego and something like an out of body experience."

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First up, though, Cee Lo will appear on the winter season finale of Animal Planet's Treehouse Masters, airing February 21st. For this episode, master builder Pete Nelson and his team constructed a treehouse studio at Bear Creek Studio, the recording spot nestled among the Woodinville foliage just outside of Seattle — a space that has helped birth many notable records, including the Lumineers' smash self-titled LP and Built to Spill's indie classic Keep It Like a Secret. As part of the episode, Cee Lo christened the new studio space with a performance of Goodie Mob's latest single, "Amy."

Still, he's excited about his future output. "If I can release singles that coexist and don't conflict with each other, then you'll hear something new from Gnarls [this year] that will run concurrent with what I'm doing solo and with Goodie Mob," he says. "Three totally different things."