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Lloyd - Street Love

Lloyd, Street Love

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

TWENTY-year-old New Orleans native is currently one of the hottest new R’n‘B sensations in the US following the success of his breakthrough hit You, featuring Lil’ Wayne.

That track helped the album crash into the Billboard Hot 100 album chart at No.2 and hit the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart.

Sadly, it’s a hopelessly generic R’n‘B offering – much like the rest of the album. The song itself is notable for using a sample of Spandau Ballet’s apparently timeless hit True but that alone makes it fairly bankrupt of originality.

There is a cheesy enjoyment value to be gained from singing along “a ha ha ha ha” to the chorus of You (which actually rhymes with “true”) but it’s hardly an original track to sample and feels like a lazy way to gatecrash the R’n‘B scene. The fact that Americans fell for it speaks volumes for the state of mainstream hip hop and R’n‘B.

And just to rub it in, there’s even a heavy-hitting remix of the track featuring OutKast’s Andre 3000 and Nas which drops the central guitar riff sampled already by the likes of PM Dawn. It’s probably the best thing on the long-player and is the track of choice on the Kiss FM playlist.

Elsewhere, it’s the usual bog-standard mix of smooth groove beats, even smoother vocals and a tendency to try and re-create the early Michael Jackson vocal sound.

Lloyd himself took to singing from an early age after meeting Joyce Irby, of Klymaxx fame, at the age of 10 during a rehearsal for a show at his performing arts school.

Lloyd was subsequently signed to Dreamworks Records and put in the R’n‘B trio Ntoon – but had to wait for success. He enjoyed brief success on Magic Johnson’s label MJM with the hit single Hey Young Girl but suffered another knockback when that label folded.

Returning to Atlanta, Lloyd met Irv Gotti and the two began to lay the foundations for his current success. But while you have to admire his endeavour, the album Street Love is a particularly bland affair.

It’s slickly produced but offers very few highlights, dropping falsetto style vocals over generic beats over the course of a very long 65 minutes.

Kiss FM fans will probably lap it up, especially off the back of You, but there’s really nothing adventurous or daring about many of the songs – and it’s ultimately a damning indicator of quality that the standout track is built around an age-old sample of a cheesy song in the first place.

Download picks: I Want You remix, Hit The Floor, Street Love

Track listing:

  1. Intro
  2. You feat Lil Wayne
  3. Certified
  4. I Don’t Mind
  5. Get It Shawty
  6. Incredible
  7. Valentine
  8. Hazel
  9. Player’s Prayer
  10. Killing Me
  11. Take You Home
  12. What You Wanna Do
  13. Street Love
  14. One For Me
  15. I Want You feat Andre 3000 and Nas
  16. Hit The Floor