On his third album, Lloyd completely abandons any thoughts of making music for anyone outside his core demographic of teenage and college-age females. Every song is dedicated to the topics of sex and romance, and Lloyd tries to portray himself as every woman’s perfect lover. It’s a formula that would have been fine if he had used this approach on just a handful of songs, but an album full of empty promises about being the man of your dreams gets old pretty quickly. Lloyd’s last album, 2007’s Street Love
, was charming and creative, but Lessons In Love, released Aug. 5, 2008, lacks creativity and originality.
The biggest disappointment about Lessons In Love
is that none of the songs have the instant likability of numerous tracks on his last album, Street Love
. Street Love
had solid, well-constructed hits like "You," "Get It Shawty"
but the only song on this album that comes close is the hip-hop track "Girls Around the World," featuring Lil Wayne, which in all honesty isn't even that all that, despite Wayne's clever verse, the classic Eric B & Rakim beat and well-placed Slick Rick vocal sample.
It, like almost all the other 11 songs here, sounds like Lloyd is just going through the (e)motions. Like a bad lover, he's telling you what he thinks you what you want to hear, but doesn't sound completely convincing, or convinced. And the pandering never ends. For example on "Year of the Lover," is coos "this one for the radio" at the beginning and end of the song, as if the song: a) is a guaranteed radio hit; b) is only on the album for no other purpose than to be a hit. There are some good tracks here, like the Michael Jackson-esque "Lose Your Love," the Usher-esque "Have My Baby" especially the tender break-up song "Heart Attack." But the album never completely overcomes numerous shortcomings, including: cliched songwriting; unoriginal, inorganic production; and Lloyd's own vocal limitations.
Lessons In Love isn't a complete waste of time, but unless you're a lovesick teenage girl, there aren't many songs that merit repeat listening. After breaking through with a very entertaining album last year, Lloyd has unfortunately taken a half-step back this time out.