With an overabundance of ballads and swagger, cool crooner Lloyd's second effort is just too narrow to recommend to the casual fan of smooth, pillow-talk R&B. The redundant songs start rearing their heads about track number four, with tales of heartache, seduction, and sweetness repeated as if every day were Valentine's Day. On the other hand, Street Love is actually a much stronger effort than his debut when you tally the number of highlights. Even more important, by never letting the singer out of his comfort zone, the album defines its artist and lays a solid foundation for a long career, even if it just looks like singles and guest appearances on hip-hop tracks at this point. The forced thug posturing is gone and replaced by sweeter lyrics and an entirely convincing playfulness that allows for lines like "Is there something you're not telling me?/Are you the daughter of Frankie Beverly?" ("Get It Shawty") along with a flippant guest shot from Lil Wayne ("You," which samples Spandau Ballet's "True" by way of P.M. Dawn). Producer Jazze Pha offers a winner with his soulful and polished "Certified" while J Lack (James Lackey) gives the album its most creative moment as he lays broken soul music across "Hazel." Much of Street Love paints Lloyd as a replacement for another J Lack client, Usher, which is much more possible that the half-thug/half-Romeo role he played on his debut. Lloyd is more comfortable, committed, and believable on Street Love, and if taken in small doses, you can add satisfying to the list.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
||Lloyd feat: André 3000 / Nas||04:26|