Lloyd

King of Hearts

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The sleazy-sweet “Lay It Down” hit airwaves during the end of summer 2010, almost ten months prior to the release of Lloyd’s fourth album, King of Hearts. The single’s luminous mix of cunningly delivered pimp talk and old-school elegance indicated that Lloyd was about to somersault out of his creative holding pattern and ascend higher than ever. Most of the successive leaks and singles continued the trend, and King of Hearts, in turn, is clearly the singer’s best album yet. It’s his most unified set of songs; Polow da Don, who collaborated with Lloyd on Lessons in Love's “Party All Over Your Body,” produces most of the material, sometimes with associates. A couple ballads are grossly overblown, but every other track is partially or wholly loveable, from the vulgar ebullience of “Dedication to My Ex (Miss That),” to the sneaky charm of “Jigsaw,” to the low and snarling likes of “Bang!!!!” and “Luv Me Girl.” At this point, Lloyd has pretty much perfected the art of transcending the modern-R&B Lothario cliché. Even “Shake It 4 Daddy,” an absurd scene as Lloyd still sounds all of 14, is wickedly catchy, with the vocalist transforming into a lecherous Michael Jackson during the chorus.

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