Underrated urban contemporary artist Lloyd returns after a five-year hiatus with enjoyable, comeback EP, ‘Tru.’
Lloyd had a run, like many artists do. After struggling to gain footing with his first studio album, Southside (2004), he experienced a breakthrough with his sophomore outing, Street Love (2007). Street Love spawned two notable hits: “You” and “Get It Shawty.” After being so high, the come down occurred with the underperforming Lessons in Love (2009) and underrated King of Hearts (2011). After 2011, Lloyd seemingly went M.I.A. until now. The talented urban contemporary artist returns with a five-song EP, Tru.
“Tru” opens the EP respectably. The sound is tried-and-true, hearkening back to the contemporary R&B sound of yesteryears. Vocally Lloyd hasn’t missed a beat, delivering his signature, distinct vocals exceptionally. If anything, he sounds more authentic, commanding, and soulful than ever. Interestingly, he references his hiatus from music:
“Hey world, yeah I know it’s been a while / thought I’d come around to let you know what’s up now / no album lately so my mind is kinda up, down / I still been taking care of mama in the somehow / disappeared from the scene and left my old team / had to find a new approach to an old dream…”
The best aspect of the title track – the chorus, hands down.
“This is me, so please accept me for who I am / and please accept me for what I do / I’m just doing everything that I can / cause all I wanna be is true.”
“Heavenly Body” brings Rick Ross along for the ride. The sound is more modern than “Tru,” embracing more hip-hip cues. Nonetheless, the expanded palette of sounds (busy production) doesn’t inhibit the vocals, which remain on-point. The title says it all – the M.O. is clearly sex. Fortunate for Lloyd, he excels at singing about it.
“Holding” swaps ‘The Boss’ for Lil Wayne, who sings his guest verse. While singing isn’t Tunechi’s ace-in-the-hole (remember Rebirth?), he’s successful here. Like “Heavenly Body,” the focus of Lloyd’s attention is his bae. New territory isn’t covered here, but he sounds inspired. That should count for something.
“Excited” has a throwback quality, bridging 80s and 90s R&B. There is plenty to like, including the vocal arrangement. The song itself is good, but doesn’t “move the needle” to welcome a new fan base per se. A remix of the crème de la crème (“Tru”) closes the EP, with 2 Chainz controlling the reins…initially.
How does the return of Lloyd stack up? All in all, Tru is a fine return for the urban contemporary artist. The strongest moment is the title track with “Heavenly Body” just a smidgen behind. Unfortunately, it’s hard to imagine this sound EP having a transcendent effect within the urban world. While Lloyd would love to break through again, even if he fails to do so, he has no reason to hang his head here.
Gems: “Tru” & “Heavenly Body”
Lloyd • Tru – EP • Young Goldie Music / EMPIRE • Release: 12.9.16
Photo Credit: Young Goldie Music / EMPIRE
This review was originally published on The Musical Hype on December 14, 2016. (Lloyd Makes a Sound Comeback on ‘Tru’ EP)