reviewed by Dan Chapman | Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Brooklyn rapper, songwriter, and producer Theophilus London intermingles retro funk with pristine rap and pop elements in his newest EP Lover’s Holiday. From start to finish the five-song record locks in with sharp beats and crystal-clear synths and instrumentals. There is a refined nature to London’s songwriting style that sets him apart; he makes bold producing decisions and they ultimately pay off on Lover’s Holiday.

About the new album, London explains, “I wrote this EP, five songs about modern love, to document what love is in 2011.” His modern point of view shines through, from the uncertain longings in the upbeat “Strange Love,” to the party anthem “Girls Girls $.” His Facebook references and constant cellphone quips are just a few of the ways the he chronicles an ever-changing society and the way people interact.

There’s something unique in the way he crafts his songs. From the upbeat and bass-heavy backbone (reminiscent of ’80s Michael Jackson hits) to the snappy flows and clean samples, it’s a completely fresh twist of retro and neo-pop that makes it no wonder why Warner Bros. wanted to get their hands on him. Guest appearances by Solange Knowles and Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara propel the opening and final tracks as the strongest on the EP, adding a nice contrast to London’s deep-tenor voice.

At 22 years old, the crazy-talented Theophilus London proves himself a legitimate force in the pop music industry. His full length on Warner Bros. will be put out this spring, but until then enjoy the work he does on Lover’s Holiday. His sound is mature, sleek, and eccentric; Kid Cudi on caffeine pills. Any modern pop fan should take a look for themselves.

(Warner Bros., 3300 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505)