SINGLE REVIEW: Theophilus London – “I Stand Alone”

theophilus-london-i-stand-alone

Written for DIY

Theophilus London is not based in our nation’s capital, nor is he someone “to whom the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles are addressed” (probably) (although his mixtapes are good). He claims on this new single to “Stand Alone”, yet is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Dev “Test Icicles / Lightspeed Champion / Blood Orange” Hynes and Solange “Yes, Sister of Beyonce” Knowles. He rocks mid-90s fashions, yet manages to look cool.

A man of interesting contradictions, this London fellow. Carrying onto this single itself: starting out with the muted strumming of an acoustic guitar (which these days cannot help but call forth shudder-inducing images of Ed Sheeran), the song then transmutes into a pounding beat/rising synth pattern that recalls, of all things, “About You Now” by the Sugababes.

Layered on top of this is London’s smooth voice, switching with ease between R&B crooning of the hooks and rapping the verses, in the style of the time (by which we mean Drake does it).

Lyrics-wise, we’re looking at a soliloquy on… well, we’re not entirely sure. At times young Theo seems to be ready to battle some faceless enemy, and at others he’s asking if we want to sail away with him. Man, those contradictions run right through. But they sure do make for a good pop single.

7/10

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