I have 7388 songs on my iPod. It’s hard to keep track of all my favourites, and I can be fickle with new downloads – an artist can become my latest craze for a few weeks, and then I’m on to the next one.
The same thing happened with The Child of Lov. I was first introduced to him when sent some promo material preceding the release of his first album last year, did a review on it – which involved eating, sleeping and breathing the album for a few days – and completely fell in love with it. Until I was sent another promo and it gradually fazed out of my Top 25 Most Played.
Though I’ve always been excited to see what direction he was heading in – how his music would evolve, and his highly anticipated live tours, during which his previously anonymous identity would probably be unveiled. When he randomly popped into my head yesterday and I hit him up on Google, I saw that he’d sadly passed away 3 months ago. So I’m a bit behind and more than gutted. It’s frustrating that such an amazing talent couldn’t have been nurtured, and a shame that his genius is so little circulated that it hadn’t come up on any feeds. The death of a talented musician is always big news, and I feel he deserves the same recognition.
In my own tribute to his fantastic work, I’ll leave you with the review I wrote – old news now, but new news for those ears that are yet to be graced with his awesomeness, and I’m guessing there’s more than a few pairs. 5/5 may be a generous reward, but I still stand by every word. Have a listen to his stuff.
The Child of Lov – Self Titled (2013)
With the identity of Cole Williams, or as he prefers to call himself, Child of Lov, unknown, you’d think his music would be something of a mystery. His reluctance to reveal information about himself is intriguing and has probably kept his fans on their toes with anticipation. Now his debut self-titled album, Child of Lov, will give you a window into his soul – behind the depth of the music, you can easily hear his genuine passion for what he does.
It’s difficult to put him under the umbrella of a single genre. His music is a blend of, seemingly, whatever he feels comes together – incorporating hip hop, electronic, R&B and neo soul to name a few – but soul is the real vibe behind it, created by the smoothness of his D’Angelo inspired falsetto vocals. Throughout the album, he’s overlapped two different pitches of his voice, making the music richly layered; pulling you into what he has to say.
With ‘Call Me Up’ the album sets off on a toned down note, with a heavy, slow beat. It picks up later on with tunes like ‘Heal’, the debut single, and ‘Fly’, my personal favourite and another promotional single. There’s everything from feel good lyrics and a Beach-Boys-style interlude (“Give it to the people now, this is what the world’s about”) in ‘Give it to the people’; to the random, off-beat sounds of ‘Living the circle’ – successfully executed randomness without being messy; to the trance-like hypnotic vocals in ‘Owl’. A lot of the sounds he makes appear wildly creative and carefree on the surface, but actually assemble really well into something seriously mature and skilled. You can tell everything is well thought out as each sound reveals itself level after level – as it must be, from releasing an album two years after Child of Lov was born.
There’s a strong assortment of heavy bass, sharp drums and guitar plucking to slow, mellow keyboard work. The imagination needed to make this sort of music would appeal to fans of Tyler the Creator or Madlib, or of course of the contributing artists, DOOM, Thundercat and Damon Albarn, in whose Studio 13 the album was recorded.
There isn’t a fault I can see with any part of the album. It’s varied from track to track, exciting, artistic and completely original and free of sampling. Electronic-oriented albums can tend to be a bit samey, but this one is perfectly balanced. It’s definitely something for the digital music lover who wants something on the unique side.
- Call Me Up
- One Day (featuring Damon Albarn)
- Living the Circle
- Give Me
- Go With the Wind
- Owl (featuring DOOM)
- Give It to the People