Theophilus London – Lovers Holiday
Release Date: February 8, 2011
Record Label: Warner Bros.
Love can be the most amazing experience of your life, or it can be the shittiest feeling on earth. And with Valentine’s Day coming up soon, you can expect both sides of the spectrum to be heard. But no matter what side you find yourself on, Theophilus London will be there for you. You see, he has one message that he wants to spread through his music, and that message is love – whether it be positive or negative. London loves to wear his heart on his sleeve, and his Warner Bros. debut, Lovers Holiday, is proof of this. But don’t go now and compare him to Drake or Kid Cudi because that would be an injustice to the music London makes. Sure, he raps, but he isn’t your conventional hip-hop artist, and this is not your conventional hip-hop release.
You see, Lovers Holiday is a fascinating 5-track, genre-hopping journey that can’t be pigeonholed into the traditional hip-hop mindsets and rules. For long time fans, you’ve heard London’s potential in his previous three mixtapes, including the stellar I Want You. So it’s a definite treat to see all his potential and creativity come together on this EP. In the past, London may have stretched his ideas a little too thin and bitten off more than he could chew, but throughout Lovers Holiday, he discovers how to structure his ideas without stunting them. The first taste is the seductive “Why Even Try,” where London transitions from a smooth flow to holding his own singing the hook with Sara Quinn (of Tegan & Sara); all the while a funky bass line inspired by the 80’s paces the track. The EP only gets sexier with “Strange Love.” The song is huge, as London raps with bravado over a sample of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U.”
Things get schizophrenic on the frantic “Girls, Girls, $,” as random glitches and blips flood the background. London has documented his world travels in various blogs and interviews, so it’s no surprise to hear how much influence the European electro-pop scene has on his music and this EP in particular. The Dave Sitek-produced “Wine and Chocolates” is one of the strongest cuts in London’s career, as he proves he can create great songs, regardless of genre. For his final act, London rolls out the previously released “Flying Overseas,” a slow jam dedicated to London’s love of traveling the globe. The dreamy vibe and the delicious guest vocals courtesy of Solange Knowles will make you wish you were on Spring Break right now.
Inspired by icons such as Marvin Gaye, London is not only documenting how he views love in 2011, but also how he interprets and uses various genres to portray his message and create something daring and unique. With Lovers Holiday, Theophilus London is pumping fresh blood into the heart of pop music.