Monday, February 09, 2009

Theophilus London - This Charming Mixtape

A great medium for an artist to expose his work without any constraints like copyright rules or sales pressure, free mixtapes do tell a lot about their author. Judging from what you can hear in "This Charming Mixtape" (download it here), Theophilus London will be huge. Featuring some of his own original work, along with covers, remixes and instrumentals from the likes of Kraftwerk, Amadou & Mariam, obscure post-punk bands and also wicked versions of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" or Crazy Cousins' "Bongo Jam", there's just too much happening in here to put this Brooklyn guy in just one shell, so calling it hip-hop would actually be kind of limited. Truth is, the closest thing that we get to more classic hip-hop sounds is a cover version of Lauryn Hill’s “Take My Eyes Off Of You”, because the rest... the rest is a kaleidoscopic journey that includes electro, soul, techno, breakbeat, african pop, new-wave and ends up with a gospel-inspired song, while Theo does some of his clever rhymes on top, rapping and singing with his smooth and confident posture. Touching so many things and with radical shifts from one track to another, everything still flows so naturally and gracefully that it's inevitable to see the "charming" of the title as more of a deserved auto-compliment than just a nod to an old The Smiths song. Oh, and if you think you've seen the above cover somewhere before, you're right, it was this one:

Yes, too many cool references but who cares when this sounds so fresh and original? (8/10)

UPDATE: Theophilus London - Always Love You clip

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Anonymous said...

very sorry to say, but theophilus did not produce any of the tracks on the mixtape

PR said...

corrected, thanks for noticing!