Wednesday 23 Apr
 
 

Norman rock well

Norman Music Festival

6 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday, 3:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and noon-2 a.m. Saturday

Downtown Norman

normanmusicfestival.com

Free

04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Grouplovin’ it

Grouplove with MS MR and Smallpools

6:30 p.m. Monday

Diamond Ballroom

8001 S. Eastern Ave.

diamondballroom.net

677-9169

$22-$24

04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Hear and now

Hear the Music Tour with The Warren Brothers and Lance Miller

6-10 p.m. Friday

Rodeo Opry

2221 Exchange Ave.

songsforsound.com

$35-$50

04/22/2014 | Comments 0

Odyssey of the mind

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey 

with Culture Cinematic and ADDverse Effects

9 p.m. Friday

Twisted Root Gallery

3012 N. Walker Ave.

twistedrootgallery.com

208-4288

$10

04/16/2014 | Comments 0

Frndz with benefits

Boyfrndz with Bored Wax and The Hitt Boyz

9 p.m. Sunday

Blue Note Lounge

2408 N. Robinson Ave.

thebluenotelounge.com

600-1166

$5

04/16/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · CDs · Hip Hop/Rap · Theophilus London — Timez...
Hip Hop/Rap
 

Theophilus London — Timez Are Weird These Days


He’s a long way from the next Kanye.

Matt Carney July 27th, 2011

Judging by the ads Warner Bros. Records is running on Pitchfork, the lack of coverage in more conventional rap and hip-hop media outlets, and hired-gun producer Dan Carey’s résumé (Hot Chip, M.I.A., La Roux), the juggernaut label is marketing Theophilus London’s debut LP, “Timez Are Weird These Days,” toward hipsters instead of a more conventional hip-hop audience.

theophiluslondontimezareweirdthesedays

Nothing out of the ordinary with that, but it oughta tell you that if you’re looking for a true spitter, then look elsewhere. From get-go track “Last Name London,” the Brooklyn rapper(ish) makes it clear that he’s aiming for modern pop-star status. I offer the following as evidence:


• the Kanye West “Lost in the World” low-end sample that drives “Last Name London” along;

• the airy, vocal arrangements (again, inspired by Kanye) that follow it; and

• his use of worn-out pop tropes such as the introduction song (“Last Name London”), road tune (“All Around The World,”), mid-track phone call (“Stop It”) and use of the phrase “speed of light” (“Wine and Chocolates”).

Midway through the third track, “Wine and Chocolates,” I realized Mr. London’s voice bears great resemblance to that of TV on the Radio frontman Tunde Adebimpe (he doesn’t do nearly as much with tone or timbre, though), shortly before realizing that the song itself is really just a few verses’ worth of interesting lyrics short of a TVOTR song. In fact, with some twitchier synths, a fully developed funk-guitar riff and a kick drum that hit with full force, “Wine and Chocolates” might actually just be “Crying,” the second track on “Dear Science.” Turns out TVOTR’s Dave Sitek worked with London on his “Lovers Holiday” EP. At least he’s borrowing from talented musicians, I guess.

The album really loses its steam midway through single “Why Even Try,” which cartoonishly inflates the bassline and R&B female-sung hook from Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy,” inverting the original song’s tale of aspiration to cries of “If you think you’re special, you’re probably not.” How’s that for depressing?

Timez Are Weird These Days” is a whole lot of slick, digital production, but light on soul. When he’s at his swagging-est (“Girls Girls $”), London’s only a fraction of what Kanye’s built. At least he’s got his sights set high. —Matt Carney

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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07.27.2011 at 03:17 Reply

Little harsh.  People like TL.  Just listened Juicy and Why Even Try back to back, and I really don't know where you get that comparison. 

There are other ways to write music criticism - it mostly comes down to avoiding the muscians in your audience from wanting to say "can't wait for the next Matt Carney album."

 

 

 
 
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