Album Watch: Next Stop Is Rose Island With Theophilus London
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Theophilus London apparently isn't sleeping as he's got a brand-new mixtape, Rose Island, that once again blends his love for the synthesized 80's with his brand of Hip-Hop. Perfumed with rawer beats and guest spots from the like of Big Boi and A$AP Rocky, Rose Island is another fine installment in London's plethora of mixtapes and EP's that has some nice surprises in its fold.
As usual with any mixtape there are spuds n' duds, and weeding through Rose Island there are a few cuts that I would cut to trim down the 18-track set. So what is good here? Well, London always has excelled at covers and mash-ups, and he's not flirting with them anymore---he's in a full-blown relationship now. "Dancing" boasts Marvin Gaye, while "Love Is Red" interpolates Sade's "Solider Of Love" nicely, as does "Big Spender" from Sweet Charity has some dirty thrown on it from A$AP Rocky's flow. London then wipes the dust off of Wang Chung's "Dance Hall Days" and---as it's a great song to begin with---London's take goes toe-to-toe with the original.
"Glam Life 2.0" is especially the highlight, as it's wonderful re-imaging of Sheila E.'s fantastic 1984 hit, "The Glamorous Life" (aka one of my all-time favorite songs ever in life). Less brassy, but still all around classy, "Glam Life" fuses London, Sam Sparro, and Mark Ronson together to make the great trifecta known as Chauffeur---a super group that needs to release an album in the very near future, if I may say so myself.
New tracks on Rose such as "Lisa" and "Morning Kisses" show-off London's originality. Applause also goes to the impeccable smut of the Big Boi guested, "Take It Off" which feels like a skeevey Keith Sweat track, and a Full Force creation the next. Not as solid as 2010's mixtape, I Want You, but Rose Island does warrant a visit or two. ....now if Mr. London could actually capture the attention he does to his mixtapes to a full album, then he'll probably get the props he deserves.
Download Rose Island here.