As a fan of the sub-rap culture, I was excited to know Theophilus London was coming out with a new album. After all, he hasn’t released a full project since 2011 with Timez Are Weird These Days. Yeezus himself cosigned the project, so it seemed that Vibes, the second studio album from London would top the charts. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case considering it only sold a tad over 20,000 copies in its first week. After giving it a three listens over the course of a week, I can tell you that it is more deserving of larger first week numbers. The album was an ode to everything you loved about the 80’s and everything you’d expect for London himself.
The album has many cuts that will either have you grooving Toro Y Moi style or relaxing with your significant other. Songs such as “Need Somebody” carries shades of a young Prince. Although it isn’t Prince, I respect the effort and tribute to the legend. You also have “Heartbreaker” and “Water Me” that carry very mid-80’s feel to it. The entire album isn’t stuck in the 80’s considering it has songs that have a different feel such as “Smoke Dancehall.” Although, it does have songs that break away from the 80’s vibe, it does dominate the albums sound.
Vibes can seem repetitive, which hurts the quality of the album. Although the 80’s feel brings a sense of nostalgia, having the majority of the album sound very similar can sadly make it feel boring at times. After a while you no longer feel like dancing and grooving, you feel like turning it off to find something different or at the very least, skipping around to the other songs that sound more modern. One thing that stood out to me as well as the lackluster performance Kanye West showed in “Can’t Stop”. His subject matter has grown stale as he ranted and raved about a female not named, but sounded pretty familiar to Kim Kardashian. Knowing he had an impact in the development of the album, I wonder if his involvement was similar to Rick Rubin on Yeezus.
If you have $15 to spare, I recommend buying this album, especially if you are a fan of London, or a fan of 80’s culture. You can listen to singles off the album on London’s soundcloud or stream the album on Youtube. It is not a great album, but it is a really good one and it only adds to the Kanye’s endorsement that London has a strong and secure future in music.
By: Romel Lherisson