Review Roundup: Lloyd – ‘King of Hearts’

King of Hearts

Lloyd aims for the crown with King of Hearts, his fourth album and first since 2008’s Lesson in Love, boasting a royal lineup including André 3000, R. Kelly, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and Keri Hilson. The smooth operator and executive producer Polow Da Don craft a star-studded set featuring everything from the hilariously raunchy “Dedication to My Ex (Miss That)” to the politically-minded “World Cry.” Did he deliver a winning hand? Find out below.

USA Today: Producer Polow Da Don provides most of the tracks and injects them with infectious thump, but it’s Lloyd’s energetic but smooth deliveries that create a diverse set of keepers. 3/4

The New York Times: His finest moment remains Street Love, from 2007, one of the frothiest R&B albums in recent memory. In places King of Hearts approaches that album’s cool breeze. It’s produced largely by Polow Da Don, who clearly sees Lloyd as something of a muse. He’s feeling the full range of his lushness here, from the exuberant horns on “Cupid” and a pointedly romantic sax on “Naked” to the clustered, mournful guitars on “This Is 4 My Baby.”

Los Angeles Times: Janelle Monáe, Katy B, The-Dream, Frank Ocean and even Beyoncé have delivered recent efforts that transcend the trappings of modern soul. Lloyd Polite could stand to follow their example and be a little ruder. 2.5/4

The Washington Post: Lloyd holds his own against guest stars such as Chris Brown (on the messy electro-R&B track “Luv Me Girl”) but runs up against the brick wall of pathos and self-pity that is R. Kelly on “World Cry.” It’s slow and obvious (“I hate to see the whole world cry,” goes the chorus; would anyone actually like to see the whole world cry? Or even just some of it?), but purposeful, a future telethon ballad waiting for its disaster to happen.

The Village Voice: The album veers back and forth between unabashed romanticism (the joyously smitten “Cupid,” which follows “Dedication” on the album and very effectively wipes away all that song’s scorn), club-borne lust (“Bang!!!!,” which combines glitchy vocal effects, a mournful choral sample and an astonishing guest boast from the heretofore-unknown Salo), and the brooding, yet unleashed love songs that helped him initially break onto the scene (“Be the One”).

The Boston Globe: The 24-year-old vocalist has an ace up his sleeve in superstar producer Polow Da Don, but the combination can’t deliver a winning hand with this thin set. The problem for Lloyd (beyond his limited range) is weak material, as the songs often never rise above generic booty stomps (“Bang!!!!”) or insipid love songs (“Jigsaw”).

Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Dedication to My Ex (Miss That),” “Cupid,” “Be the One,” “Lay It Down”

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54 Comments

  1. Kahari

    His label should have capatilized off of the success of “Lay It Down” last year when it was fresh out the lab and Lloyd was scorchin’ hot. The public isn’t checkin’ for him any more. Flop of all Hearts.

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    outofdabox14 Reply:

    I agree wit @Kahari, but is album is good though. Hopefully he gets the promotion it needs to sell

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    JOSALYN TILLMON Reply:

    @Kahari, THIS ALBUM IS DA BEST IN MY EARS..BUT HE HAVE MOST FANS TO BACK HIM UP..ON HIS MUSIC BECAUSE WE LISTEN TO HIS MUSIC ALL DA TIME..AND WE LOVE THIS CD JUST LIKE WE LOVE THE FIRST THREE..

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  2. stephenc

    This album was not his best. And I like Lloyd, he’s a good artist.

    I don’t think Lloyd and Polow are a good combination. Seeing that Polow produced most of the tracks on this album Lloyd should choose a different producer to work with next time around. Or not use 1 producer for more than 3 tracks…

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    Will Reply:

    @stephenc, I think it was smart to work with polow da Don the whole album because the music all flows together from beggining to end i just think Interscope coulda promoted a lot more like they did with Keri Hilsons NBA album.

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    JOSALYN TILLMON Reply:

    @Will, I AGREE WITH YOU ON THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE…

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  3. Lisa

    Finally. These critics are getting real with everyone… Polow was hyping this album up like there was no tomorrow. He was retweeting fans who said that Lloyd and him were the modern day Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones (oh no, he didn’t!). Lloyd’s music isn’t all that amazing or refreshing.

    The fact that Polow dares to compare King of Hearts to be on the level of Michael’s music is just a shame.

    That’s all I have to say about it.

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    JOSALYN TILLMON Reply:

    @Lisa, SORRY MISS LADY! LLOYD MUSIC ISN’T THE SAME AS MJ BE REAL..LLOYD AS HIS OWN VOICE..AND HE CAN SING HIS ASS OFF, NO MATTER WHAT SONG HE SING..STOP HATEIN!!

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    Lisa Reply:

    @JOSALYN TILLMON, did you read the FULL comment or just three words? ‘Cause I’m confused… Where did I say that Lloyd is the same as Michael Jackson? That wouldn’t be possible, not in my lifetime…

    You didn’t hear me say anything hateful about Lloyd. I just don’t think his music is all that good, I’m sorry to dissapoint you. But that’s my opinion, that’s not hating.

    Stop being so agressive and defensive. No one’s asking you to… If you’re a Lloyd fan, then focus on HIM, not on me and all the others you went off on. Thank ya, “miss lady”.

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  4. maya

    it’s gonna flop

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  5. Drake&CiaraFan

    The best track is “Luv Me Girl”, I hope its a single. “Be The One” is ehh, sounds like everything else. “This Is 4 My Baby” is nice too.

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  6. Chege

    This cat has an amazing sound. He’s not the status quo. The CD in my opinion is the hottest I’ve heard in a long time. From the beginning to the conclusion. In my opinion the CD is absolutely perfect. 15 out of 10 stars! The last album I listened to from start to finish was “Distant Relatives” I listened to this 3x back to back to back. Sounds like he put his everything in this one.

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  7. bijan

    R&B singers like Lloyd have to start changing things up, work with different producers, produce their own shit, etc.
    otherwise they all sound the same

    (jeremih, lloyd, trey, etc etc)

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  8. Kyle

    I was thinking about getting this album but when I listened to the snippets I wasn’t all that impressed. I agree with the NY Times in the fact that “Street Love” was his best album. I don’t think he could ever top that.

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    Kyle Reply:

    @Kyle, To build on what I said above, I gave in and bought his album yesterday at Target and I’m actually glad I did. The snippets didn’t do the album justice and after listening to it all the way through I think it’s a solid R&B album. One of the best this year actually. I tried not to like “Dedication To Ex” because I thought it was cheesy but it’s so damn catchy! “This Is 4 My Baby” and “Shake It 4 Daddy” are my favorites so far. To sum it up, this album is a lot better than “Lessons In Love” but not as good as “Street Love.”

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  9. poetik

    i like it!

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  10. Kirill-x-zibit

    Download this album for free on hip-hoproom.com

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  11. Oh Please

    s/o to these critics! they’re saying what people are afraid to say b/c it’s their fav artist(s). But yeah I already said after hearing the album that only 2 tracks stood out to me which was Love me Girl and Bang. The rest, they’re good…but idk.

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  12. Chris

    You guys are missing a gem if you don’t pick this one up. 2nd best R&B album I heard this year just behind Jagged Edge “The Remedy”. The deluxe edition has some very nice tracks too, especially “Never Window Shopping”. It’s a real shame these guys flop while Beyonce easily sells 300k with her terrible album. SMH.

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    lob Reply:

    @Chris, Terribles album don’t get 8 on pitchfork and 73 on metacritic. She didn’t flop like people wished now just take the L and move on lol.

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    Chris Reply:

    @lob, I don’t care what critics say is good or not I’ve got my own brain and can decide for myself. “4″ was not a very good album to me and that opinion shouldn’t affect anybody else as it is my personal opinion. All I’m saying is there are a lot of underrated artists in the industry who are putting out better stuff and only selling 10% of the numbers. That’s not right at all. I’m not ‘hating’ on Beyonce just using that album as a recent example of what I see as injustice in the industry.

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    Lisa Reply:

    @Chris, why do you have to drag Beyoncé into this? She has nothing to do with Lloyd’s albumsales.

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    Robin Lewis Reply:

    @Lisa, obviously he is just using that as an example…are u paying attention. Everything he said is true.

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    Lisa Reply:

    @Robin Lewis, I know he used it as an example, but it was totally uncalled for. I get the point, there’s no need to drop names.

    And I disagree. King of Hearts isn’t that great of an album, with incredibly poor lyrics and (sorry, but I have to drop a name now) he’s OBVIOUSLY aware of the fact that his voice sounds similar to Michael Jackson’s, and tries to duplicate it.

    It’s just weak, and nothing we haven’t heard before. So, for him, everything may be true. But these critics just stated what I was saying weeks before the album dropped.

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  13. WonderLand19

    I like that polow worked with lloyd on this album. His beats and Lloyds voice really work together nicey. I will listen to the whole album and let you guy know what i feel. However, i do feel interscope should have given him MORE promo.

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  14. Keila

    I am very impressed with Lloyd’s album from track one to fourteen. My favorite songs are “Naked”, “Jigsaw”, and “Shake it 4 Daddy”. He really did his thing with this one and for LA Times to even mention Beyonce’s name is a mess because her music is not all that hot lately. What is “Run the World” I’m a girl and I hate that song she can do a lot better herself, now she have the two and a half stars not Lloyd.

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  15. catherine j

    i love the king of hearts album my favorite is bang and angel the new artist Salo is dope f..ck all u haters

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  16. Lyte

    If you like music, you can not deny the infectious beats and talented voice on this project. There is something for everyone on this album (radio, club, oldheads) Lloyd and Polow have taken time to put out not just the norm or what is expected from R&B. For as many negative critics you list I can find positive including Rolling Stone and Billboard. Do not just go by critics, open your ears and use your own mind.

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  17. Raven

    Are you kidding me? King of Hearts is a GREAT album from start to finish! Obviously all of you haters like Lloyd nd his music because you took the time out to read the reviews, listen to the album, and comment. His vocals are incredible and the album is amazing from start to finish! 2 1/2 stars??? Are you kidding me?

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  18. asia

    Every song on King Of Hearts is a masterpiece. I’m so proud of Lloyd and Polow Da Don they worked so hard and u really hear it in this album!!!

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  19. Dez

    Lloyd’s King of Hearts album is worth buying! Its so refreshing & smooth! Lloyd’s beautiful voice will grasp your heart & mind! Polow’s banging beats will take over your soul & body & make you dance! This album is so very relaxing never heard anything like it! Polow & Lloyd are a great combination & worked on this album for 2 years! Lloyd took a different approach & is more direct on this album yet remains classy! Best album of the year deserves a Grammy & will go platinum!

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  20. Rissa

    Really……
    Oh you must be either hard headed or no feeling and sense for Good music. its a GREAt album from the first song till the last one, every song has his unique beat. Lloyd his vocals are amazing its like he sounds different every time he hits a high note and i’m blown away Angels for e.g
    Just take a minute and listen to the Album and then come back to edit your comment.

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  21. toya

    Lloyd and polowdadon really equals up to magic yes Lloyd took a very a good approach to this album taking us to another level of love while dancing at the same time and you will really cry when you hear him discuss his lost angels and how he wants to wipe the tears from the world in world cry .King of hearts Classic! grammy bound boo!

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  22. Meeme Abraha

    King Of Hearts Is A Masterpiece Album..Lloyds Vocals Are Insane (Angel) King Of Hearts Gives Variety Club, Romance, And Crazy Fun Music… PolowDaDon Beats Are Incredible.. Hands Down Best Album Period …Def Album Of The Year…Lloyd is Real Artist..Real Artist do not conform to what the radios are playing ..Real Artist Making Real Music Is What Lloyd Is … And King of hearts is just that Real Music That Music Industry Has misssing and needing … #KOH Album Of The Year Period !!!!

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  23. Roxyde

    This is a fun CD, it combine difference song types that all show off Lloyd amazing talent and range. He brings a 2011 feel to classic R&B. Don’t listen to someone else’s opinion get the Cd and judge it on your own.King of Hearts now available!!!

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  24. Flower Company » Blog Archive » Lloyd Debuts ‘Guns & Roses’ Tattoo on His Head – Rap

    [...] celebrate the release of his new album King of Hearts, Lloyd debuted a new tattoo and hairstyle. During a visit to “106 Park” on Tuesday, the “Lay [...]

  25. Shake

    One of the best albums I’ve heard in ages… So hard to pick one fave… From the merciless and attention grabbing “Dedication to My Ex” to the merciful and compassionate ” World Cry” … Superb vocals and lyrics plus hypnotic beats that make your body move on its own accord equals a definite Grammy nod in my book… Don’t get caught without one of the best of 2011…

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  26. JOSALYN TILLMON

    Well I felt that Lloyd & Polow Dadon did a great job on Lloyd’s “King of Hearts Album. “Yes” Lloyd did take another approach with this album then the first three.Southside,StreetLove & Lesson in Love because Lloyd has grown up now and he took it to another level. “Man all the songs on this album is great.” Amazing I don’t care what the critics say this album is the best that’s out in my book..I don’t think that you people understand his music. My Favorite Tracks: “Dedication to My Ex (Miss That),” “Cupid,” “Be the One,” “Lay It Down” “Bang”World Cry”..that’s just my favorite i love the world damn album.

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  27. JOSALYN TILLMON

    sorry by the way i mean! i love the whole damn album…

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  28. MzStoopidThick

    I guess haters will be haters! I bought the album and put it on repeat. Lloyd is one of the best that’s out right now. “King Of Hearts” is a great album. I enjoy listening to it from the beginning to the end. I think he made a good decision with the artists he decided to work with.

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  29. Sasha B.

    I pre-ordered this album on iTunes because I was so excited about it! Since I’ve downloaded it, I can’t seem to stop listening. I think Lloyd’s decision to work with Polow Da Don was a wise one~together they tell a story through music~creating an intriguing flow throughout the album. I suggest you purchase this album…see for yourself…I assure you that you won’t be disappointed.

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  30. mane

    wow any album r kelly is is always great but lloyd still deed well in the overall context of the album

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  31. Missy_Raven

    King of Hearts is an amazing album from start to finish! The beats are great, Lloyd’s vocals are incredible, and the chemistry and flow of the album is wonderful! This is some of Lloyd’s best work! Haven’t heard an album this great in years!

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  32. krys

    i dont understand why this album was even compared to his second album.. you cant comapre KOH to Street Love. that was then this is now his sound & look has evolved.. the songs on koh are great & you would know that if you picked up a copy!!!

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  33. Cara

    He is a 25 year old man now! This is 2011! Come on people give credit where it is due. The entire King of Hearts CD is GREAT! I totally agree with those who like all of the songs. Please buy the CD and enjoy this true R&B artist. Lloyd holds his own, just listen to him sing!!! He has matured, get with it! For all lovers this entire CD will set the tone for a lovely night or day. Keep making good music Lloyd. Pola da Don and Lloyd please keep those albums coming. Haters don’t hate, learn to appreciate!!! This CD is Great!!!

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  34. Cara

    Good

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  35. Saima

    Some of these reviewers need to have their ears cleaned because this is the type of album you can play from start to finish without having to skip a song, it has a solid sound with excellent production from Polow and brilliant vocal skills from Lloyd. He has truly brought real R’n'B back to its core with a mixture of old school and new school feel. It is an addicitve piece of music and a must buy for true music lovers I love it and am so proud of Lloyd!

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  36. Queenofheartz20 (Anisha)

    When you listen to King Of Hearts, you can tell how much hard work & dedication that was put into this album cause every song is great. This album been on repeat since I got it & I need to go back to Target so I can get my mother a copy cause she’s in love with this album. Lloyd really out done himself his voice is so amazing. This album is going to be #1 on the charts I truly believe that he done it this time I just hope & pray this album & Lloyd gets the recognition it deserves. King Of Hearts #1

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  37. Victoria (SecretPink)

    Conformity is dead.. let me start off with saying that. mainstream music sounds all the same. Lloyd is rebellious, uncensored, fun-spirited and loving. King Of Hearts has something for everyone, we all have our own personal favorite as it relates to us. I love “World cry” “You II” and “This is 4 my baby.” He has something for all of our emotions.. sad, happy, excited, scared.. this album has LONGEVITY.. teaming up with Polow was the best choice.. his best work to date. Dont turn your head because it doesn’t sound like what everyone else is doing on the radio. A mistake. Lloyd is a person of contrasts.. each song on the album contrasts the one that precedes it, at the same time there is a consistency throughout. To know King Of Hearts is to understand the King of Hearts himself- Lloyd. He is not one to be characterized; be put in this box of “R&B” or “Hip Hop” Great music is great music. After reading this, listen to the album again, keeping everything I said in mind.. open your mind & think outside the box.

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  38. jamie

    lloyd is an amazing artist and i hope this album gets him the credit he deserves every song on the album is great lloyd is so talented and am ready for him to get noticed love KOH

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  39. Miss Simone

    The album is honestly a HUGE breath of fresh air. It’s exactly what R&B has been missing. With everyone sounding the same now-A-days it’s great to know that Lloyd is staying true to his music and his sound. I love King Of Hearts and I anticipate anything Lloyd creates!

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  40. watsb4me

    I love every single song on this CD! I brought two copies for myself and 2 more for other’s. I have been a fan of Lloyd since the start and I knew that he would not disappoint, and he did not. I knew it would be good, but it was even more then I expected, it’s great!! He is lyrically gifted and the partnership with Polow is genius, they are a perfect match. You can feel the love that was put into this project when you listen to Lloyd’s voice beautifully placed over the beats..magic! It was well worth the 3 year wait since his last CD. THE KING IS BACK!!

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  41. Kayloni

    I honestly wasnt even going to buy the album but when i heard the snippets i was sold! Im verrrrry impressed wit da album frm start to finish i mean i needed more than Cupid to buy it n he CLEARLY proved his case on allll of his songs. Ive never been a die hard fan but i respected his career n he was always so fukin fine to me lol. King of hearts deserves a grammy n i will make SURE i buy it :)

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    Jay Reply:

    @Kayloni, the ablum is real good. It is the best ablum of the year. My favorite songs are jigsaw, bang naked, be the one, luv me girl. Make sure yall get this ablum straigt fire

    [Reply]

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