With Vibes Theophilus London plays with a bunch of different sounds in the span of 42-minutes. Sometimes it works, sometimes it fails horribly. From dancehall to 80’s power ballads Vibes is all over the place.
Now I, like most people, found out about this album because Kanye is on Can’t Stop. That’s not necessarily a bad thing too. Having Ye both feature on and executive produce this album opened me up to an artist that I still follow to this day. Right from the jump the production on this album is the main attraction. Water Me is produced by Leon Ware and Adam Pavao (who?) and I love it. It starts off very sparse and skeletal then that beat drops and lordy jesus it’s like you’re teleported to a different world. Soko comes in with the background vocals and it’s so soothing and the beat is guided by this synth pad and The Force MDs provide background vocals too and it mixes into this great combination of voices and sounds and fuck me man it’s so fucking good. But right when you get into that song Theo hits you with a cover of The Law by the wonderful John Maus and it’s comes outta left field. This contrast is wild, but to me it works.
The lyrical content on this album is nothing to write home about. It’s like how Travis and Rocky both suck at rapping, but their vocals compliment the beats. This exactly what this album does. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s fun to yell out the lyrics to Get Me Right and Heartbreaker, it’s made for singing along to. Like, cleaning the house music or heading to the club music (wow, yeah that’s perfect.) Do Girls is odd because it’s about Theo trying to fuck a lesbian…and that’s it. That’s literally the entire song yo. She apparently tells Theo all the time that she only fucks with girls, but somehow he turns her out and steals her from her girlfriend. Odd. Tribe is definitely my favorite song on here because it sounds like chaos. Brodinski provides this techno beat filled with synths, splashy claps and snaps, and this bass and Jesse Boykins III is chanting in the background throughout the hook and it actually doesn’t get annoying.
Now, usually interludes that lead to the main song are ass, but with this song it’s the opposite. Smoke (Interlude) is so smooth and lush it gives you the feeling of being in a room with someone you like and y’all broke away from the group and it’s just you two. It sets up this “I’m tryna fuck” atmosphere. Then Smoke Dancehall starts and it just sucks all that energy out and goes in the opposite direction, and not in a good way. If you took this song off the album it would be better. Just do yourself a favor and skip it, trust me you’re not missing anything.
This album is filled with one common theme: I’m tryna dance, then I’m tryna fuck. That’s pretty much it. Neu Law is about the only song that doesn’t follow, but I don’t want it to seem like I’m hating. I actually like this album. It’s worth the listen. It’s been almost five fucking years since this album released and Theo has not delivered a new album and my anticipation is almost gone at this point because who just does some shit like that? Bebey better be the most amazing album ever since we’ve waited (once again) FIVE FUCKING YEARS. Also, Nights B4 Bebey is so trash guys i’m sick.
Listen to Vibes here
Follow Deshaun everywhere: @deshaunstar