The Child of Lov – The Child of Lov (Double Six Records)
Netherlands’ nomad The Child of Lov releases his eponymous debut album with a little help from Blur chameleon Damon Albarn. Louder Than War’s Harley Cassidy has a listen.
The art of mystery is one that subliminally compels you as an individual to try and unearth whatever the hell it is that makes you so damn curious about it in the first place. Harry Houdini was the master of it and Cluedo made a profit from channelling it into a board game so when funky soul creature The Child of Lov apparated into musical territory with said mystery engulfing him there was the exciting new norm of “anonymous musician syndrome” happening all over again.
The internet age likes to open musical artists up like a book to the baying music buyer so for an intimate nomad like Lov you’d expect similar compositions. WRONG. The Child of Lov is a collection of flamboyant, strut worthy firecrackers which dabble in neo-folk, sing like Prince and stylise like a majestic peacock.
You really don’t expect The Child of Lov to be who he is which probably makes the record a whole lot more interesting. With a ballerina hairdo, scrawny frame and penchant for tropical shirts and blingin’ chains, The Child of Lov sounds like a hippie preacher’s son but instead has used his name to channel the bending response of plant organs into something else: Light, Oxygen and Voltage dont’cha know. Which probably makes him even more of a hippie preacher’s son. A hippie preacher’s son with soul that is.
There is some serious funk revival happening on The Child Of Lov’s debut which is probably to be expected when you have one Damon Albarn collaborating on it. Recorded at pop chameleon Albarn’s 13 studio, some of the Blur frontman’s magic dust has clearly brushed off onto the record with lush hip hop leanings apparent on the East Coast tinged Give Me playing beats so trill you expect Ghostface Killah to be spitting bars all over it. Instead you have The Child giving us some Jake Shears vocals with less feminism and 70% more swagger. Whilst the album relies on chunky, groove soaked loops in which Lov harmonises like a cool cat, the pace can at times get relatively slow.
With so many head nodding beats to take into account, the album can verge on getting a little too over-powering for one listen and instead of each song flowing into another they’re better off being listened to individually. This is maybe a credit to The Child of Lov as an artist as producing albums that feature a variation of strong songs is something that doesn’t crop up in a mainstream sounding record from an alternative musician.
The harmonised stomp of Fly (“I really need my wings to Fly”) and synth parps of Give It To The People ensure the album isn’t as left-field as one would expect and in general can sound very chart friendly. But then again you get a sinister tango-style intro like the one on Owl which bounds solidly along with “super villain” rapper DOOM and you start to think maybe it’s too good for the charts.
Like Outkast at their wooziest (think Miss Jackson) The Child of Lov pushes avant garde hip hop into a broader spectrum whilst refraining from having a rapper as the focal point. Spot on production techniques and a unique boundary pushing sound: The Child of Lov’s shrouded cloak of mystery may have dropped, but his sound is ready to be heard by the masses.
All words by Harley Cassidy. Read more from Harley on LTW here.