Theophilus London – Timez Are Weird These Days

Theophilus London – Timez Are Weird These Days
Reprise: 2011

Every time I hear Theophilus London, I hear Kid Cudi. That low vocal pitch and mumbling cadence. The pounding synths and deep bass lines to mask said cadence. The obvious lust for pop star status, even if Cudi’s path was sidetracked briefly by a very public bout with drug addiction. And when I hear Theophilus, I hear a very confident — if not slightly cocky — young man, whose cavalier attitude toward women and responsibility lend to my overwhelming perception that life is a mere trinket for the Brooklyn vocalist, and that these times are made for celebration. It’s that nonchalance which characterizes London’s light-hearted blend of electro-pop and hip-hop, an easy concoction of simplistic rhyme patterns over airy, dance-heavy instrumentals. Therefore, his new album Timez Are Weird These Days is certainly expected, even if its “look at me, now leave me alone” theme quickly gets old. At least the music sounds good, although the rhythms grow complacent midway through this 37-minute expedition.

If nothing else, London’s music is charming. In one breath, you feel embraced by the album’s enveloping glow, embracing the sonic boom of “Last Name London” and respecting the robotic tempo of “Wine and Chocolates”. Then you peel the onion and realize there isn’t much there to hold your interest, even if the songs feel good after the first listen. There’s only so many times one can listen to London’s musings about his superstar stature: “From a bird’s view, from a third view/In the sky without no curfew,” he repeats on the Kanye-esque “Last Name London”, the album’s turbulent opening track. By the time the nomadic “All Around The World” plays, he’s chastising rap music and lackluster media coverage. “Tired of hearin’ yo’ crap, ’bout who need to bring rap back,” he says. “Stupid interviews, questions make me sorta laugh.”

That’s not to say his messages need to be deeper, since there is a definite lane for his jetsetting brand of music. His 2009 full-length effort, The Charming Man, was similar, with “Superbad” resembling the closest thing to so-called “real hip-hop.” But in this finicky music industry, variation is key. You can’t record the same album too many times without the listener taking notice. I don’t know Theophilus, but I imagine he achieved exactly what he sought with Timez — a breezy, fun-loving record best heard on headphones and loud stereo systems. While it’s easy for me to criticize his lack of depth, it may also be unfair. Theophilus is simply a young man with lofty aspirations and abundant professional opportunities at his fingertips. But exactly who the real person is remains a persistent mystery. I hear Cudi in his voice. I hear Kanye through his beats. I’d like to hear Theophilus. He might have something interesting to say.

2.5 out of 5

2 thoughts on “Theophilus London – Timez Are Weird These Days

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  1. When ever i hear Kid Cudi i always think of Theophilus London. i can’t help but think where Kid Cudi goes wrong Theophilus London goes right.

    When you listen to songs like Humdrum Town you automatically think Kid Cudi aint in his league. When you hear old school Funk music in songs like No Answers you think Mr London is more then one dimensional. Then you hear him make Electro Pop or Dance music with songs like Sorry To Interrupt and you think you have a superstar on your hands. No artists i have heard in along time can make a Funk, Hip Hop, Dance, Electro, Roots, New Wave music and sound hot in all categories.

    Definitely a star of the future Theophilus London has been my favorite artist for years now. With unbelievable songs like Humdrum Town, No Answers, Hey Wonderful, The Light, Soles Of Fire, Sorry To Interrupt etc etc i could go on and on.

    After Releasing 3 brilliant mixtapes in The Charming Mixtape, Jam and I Want you. I expected this album to be a classic. I expected this album to my favorite of the year. Although its not a classic and is not my favorite album of the year its definitely one my favorites.

    I was abit disappointed that some of my favorites tracks at the moment arent on it such as Field Of Dreams (which he is promising for his next mixtape) but overall with the exception of 3 songs which i deleted from my iphone i love this album.
    Stop it, Girls Girls and One Last Time are the the 3 tracks im not feeling. So they were quickly deleted.

    But they are huge memorable stand outs on the album.

    such as one of the songs of the year ‘I Stand Alone’.(also the theme to How To Make It in America season 2)

    Lighthouse which is a late 70s funk rock inspired track.

    Wine and Chocolate is another brilliant song. While ‘Why Even Try’ with that infectious Biggie/Prince inspired beat is electric.

    While ‘Love Is Real’ is a good dance inspired song aswell.

    overall abit disappointed with the direction. i think he tried to much instead of keeping it a little more simple. I honestly believe with the material he left off the album he could have had himself a 5/5 worthy album.

    my score




  2. He gave a great live show at Amoeba, Ill give him that.

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