Child of Lov - The Child Of Lov - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Child of Lov - The Child Of Lov

by Rich Morris Rating:6 Release Date:2013-05-06

People are saying The Child of Lov, aka Dutch weirdy Cole Williams, sounds like Prince. What he actually sounds like is an extremely white man, possibly the whitest man who has ever lived, doing a not very good piss-take of the Purple Genius. His strangulated, horny-cat-with-nuts-in-a-vice singing voice is frankly hideous to listen to, and means every track on this, his debut album, is a little irritating, even when the music isn't too bad.

The other big problem with the Damon Albarn-produced The Child of Lov is the paucity of actual tunes. Although Williams' mix of loping 90s gangsta rap beats and warped soul stylings has definite appeal, too many songs, such as the industrial clank of 'Give Me' and the dirty electro of 'Go With the Wind', are basically promising rhythm tracks desperately in need of a decent melody.

Still, a few moments stand out: 'Owl' boasts Knife-style pitch-shifted vocals and a guest-spot from rapper DOOM which makes its menacing gangsta vibe sound like less of a white boy joke; standout track 'Warrior's sparse beats and nu-soul vibe are excellently realised, as is multi-vocal sex-fest 'Call Me Up'. 'Fly', meanwhile, puts Alabama 5 gospel to a disco beat and produces something both melodic and memorable, even if its still screamingly fake.

In fact, the main problem here is how inauthentic everything on The Child of Lov feels. Even during its best moments, its hard not to picture Antipodean musical comedy act Flight of the Concords doing a well-observed parody of Prince or Ice Cube, playing off their evident white nerdiness. I dunno, maybe this stuff shouldn't bother me, but it does a little. When Williams, a white dude from Amsterdam, drawls "When y'all call me, wo-maaan" like he's Isaac Hayes, it's so far beyond David Bowie's plastic soul. It's plastic blackness.

Anyway, when you put that aside, I guess The Child of Lov isn't actually too bad. Williams' voice, while grating at first, does grow on you a little after repeat listens, and Albarn's production is typically excellent, ensuring that even the most threadbare melodies sparkle. But there's no getting away from the fact that listening to this record is an irritating experience, and leaves me longing for something authentic with more tunes.

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