King of Hearts

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Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: This is the posthumous album for the rapper from Columbus, Ohio, who passed away from lung cancer in 2008.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. It was obvious the writing for this album was at its earlier stages when Camu passed away, but the production does a very good job of making up for the low quality of the vocals. Fortunately, Camu's fantastic voice still breaks through. I love distorted, uneven recordings, but fans of cleaner audio work may be put off by the album's overall quality.
  2. True, Camu Tao hadn't mastered the art of songwriting: verses and choruses abound, whereas bridges are conspicuously absent. But even half-built tracks like "Bird Flu" and "Intervention" are proof that he could create engaging and catchy hooks alongside vocals that matched his new palette without diluting the hip-hop aesthetic. Such songs are tantalizing examples of unrealized potential--a sad indication of what could have been.
  3. 70
    Sadly, Camu Tao passed on before he had the chance to fully craft his magnum opus and one has to applaud the decision to let the world hear what is and what could have been.
  4. Camu Tao's thoughts and structures are more fully fleshed out, more songs than just ideas and sketches, and here, what he was and what he could do, and could have done, seem so much more fully whole.
  5. When he recorded King of Hearts, Camu Tao knew he was dying of lung cancer. His solo debut feels urgent and incomplete. It's a collection of electro-rap songs with barely any rap verses. The songs are brief meditations on death and love and arguments, but as dark as this music can sound, it's never bleak.
  6. I fully respect his artistic and creative choices and his right to be his own man and not be defined by his years as a seminal underground rapper. I respect his choices, but I still pine for a Camu Tao we don't hear on this album and that we won't hear ever again. In the end I feel that his potential still went untapped.
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