Our baby’s not our baby anymore…
Kat Stevens: A pop question that has long puzzled me: bragging about the quantity and quality of ladies (or men) you attract – what audience is this meant to appeal to? Has anyone ever been impressed enough by a chat-up line that consists of a long list of other types of people whom the describer is likely to cheat on you with? If Terius is trying to win a cock-measuring contest with the lads (i.e. anyone listening to this record – I’m assuming he doesn’t actually want to sleep with me personally) then he’d be better off showing, not telling, otherwise I’ll assume he’s all talk and no trousers. This tune, while fairly pretty, certainly does nothing to disprove that theory.
Alex Ostroff: The-Dream pulls out all of his tricks, from multi-tracked harmonies, to interpolations of other songs, to those stabbing synths and bouncing pianos that proved so effective on “Shawty is da Shit”. He’s as affably awkward and sleazy as always, but somehow I can’t help but feel like I’ve heard it all before. Don’t get me wrong — I love it when it’s on, but new Terius should induce compulsive fits of repeated listening; I forgot that “Love King” existed for the better part of a week. That said, it also contains this gem, so he hasn’t completely fallen off: “I got girls with weave, girls without it. She like, ‘This all mine’, ‘Hmmm…I doubt it!’.”
Al Shipley: I don’t mind when R&B’s leading serious auteur type gets breezy and mindless, because to be honest he’s always come off kind of vapid to me. This has neither the heft of a title track or a lead single, but is ingratiating enough that it might do the trick as the latter, if people give it enough listens for those predictable little hooks to sink in.
John Seroff: I’ve listened to “Love King” quite a lot and it has yet to establish much more of a personality than a goofy smile and a shrug. I’m used to Dream tracks being slow burners but this song only gives off a wan warmth. Even with an artist whose work I’m such a relatively new converted stan for, ahma need something more than dude just holding his charm up and acting like that forgives any creative laxity. Hoping this is just the calm before the quiet storm.
Michaelangelo Matos: For a putative genius he sure does rely on some dog-eared cliches: the pattering snare fills, the time-keeping strings, the chorus, damn near everything. And no, he doesn’t rearrange them in any startling new way, especially not here.
Alfred Soto: Aware that these studio rats make me bitch about how they repeat themselves something awful even as their albums end up on my yearly top ten, I listened to this one a couple of times, with increasing relief. They are repeating themselves something awful, and if neither Mariah nor Mary J will claim these dinky synth-anchored softshoes then the rest of us are worse off listening to these guys literalize these cliches themselves.
Martin Skidmore: I maintain that if he released say just one single a month instead of several a week, the quality control would be better. This sounds like many of his others, which isn’t such a bad thing given how good many of them are, but the sound is familiar enough that I had the feeling he could knock something like this out every day.
Martin Kavka: I’ve never understood the adoration for The-Dream. This is two-chord R&B that can’t have been written in more than twenty minutes. There’s a little charm in a descending eighth-note line that appears during the fade-out, but that’s it.
Matt Cibula: It’s a few different songs, but I love them all so it’s okay. I know it’s gonna drive a lot of people batshit, but todos los signifiers appeal to me. Fave bit is probably how much the opening part sounds like Kumbia Kings circa 2003 — ¡Viva A.B. Quintanilla III!