King of Hearts (Lloyd album)

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King of Hearts
Lloyd - King of Hearts.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 5, 2011
Doppler Studios
(Atlanta, Georgia)
No Excuses Studio
(Santa Monica, California)
Record Plant
(Hollywood, California)
Setai Recording Studios
(Miami, Florida)
LabelZone 4, Interscope
Lloyd chronology
Lessons in Love
King of Hearts
Singles from King of Hearts
  1. "Lay It Down"
    Released: August 31, 2010
  2. "Cupid"
    Released: March 22, 2011
  3. "Dedication to My Ex (Miss That)"
    Released: August 9, 2011

King of Hearts is the fourth studio album by American R&B recording artist Lloyd, released July 5, 2011, on Zone 4. Production for the album took place at several recording studios and was handled primarily by producer and Zone 4-head Polow da Don. It is Lloyd's first release after leaving his former record label Murder Inc. Records in 2009.

The album debuted at number 10 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 26,000 copies in its first week. Upon its release, King of Hearts received positive reviews from most music critics, who commended Lloyd's singing and Polow da Don's production, although some criticized its songwriting.


After releasing three albums for The Inc. Records, Lloyd left the record label in 2009 due to creative differences.[1] He subsequently released an eight-track EP, Like Me: The Young Goldie EP, as a free download on the Internet.[2] In 2010, Lloyd was featured on the Young Money hit single "BedRock" and signed to Zone 4, the label of producer and longtime friend Polow da Don.[1] He previously worked with Lloyd on the latter's 2008 album Lessons in Love.[3]


Recording sessions for the album took place at Doppler Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, No Excuses Studio in Santa Monica, California, Record Plant in Hollywood, California, and Setai Recording Studios in Miami, Florida.[4] Polow da Don served as the album's executive producer and produced or co-produced all of its songs, managing sessions with background singers and horn and string sections.[1] In an interview for Billboard, he said of his role on the album, "I promised [Lloyd] my full dedication. So I stopped doing a lot of work with a lot of other artists. I usually have seven songs on the radio at the same time, but I shut down shop to focus on his album".[1] Lloyd has said of the album's music, "We've created something in the likes of what Justin Timberlake and Timbaland were able to create [on 'FutureSex/LoveSounds'] and Usher and Jermaine Dupri were able to create [on 'Confessions']".[1]

Release and promotion[edit]

The album was released by Zone 4, with distribution through Interscope Records.[1] It was released on July 5, 2011, in the United Kingdom,[5] and on July 6 in the United States. In promotion of the album, Lloyd will accompany rapper Lil Wayne on the second leg of his I Am Music II tour during the summer.[1]


The album's lead single, "Lay It Down", was released on August 31, 2010.[6] It peaked at number 64 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number seven on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, becoming Lloyd's fourth top-ten hit on the chart.[7] The second single "Cupid" peaked at number 11 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.[1][8]

"Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)", which features Andre 3000 and Lil Wayne, was released as the third single on August 9.[9] "Be the One", which features Trey Songz and Young Jeezy, was originally planned to be the third single.[1][10] A music video for the song was still released on December 19.[11]


Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 10 on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 26,000 copies in the United States.[12] It is Lloyd's third top-10 album in the US.[12] As of July 20, 2011, King of Hearts has sold 35,600 copies in the US, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[13]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[3]
The A.V. Club(B+)[14]
The Boston Globe(mixed)[15]
Los Angeles Times2.5/4 stars[16]
The New York Times(favorable)[17]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[19]
Slant Magazine3/5 stars[20]
USA Today3/4 stars[21]
The Village Voice(favorable)[22]

King of Hearts received positive reviews from most music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 77, based on 12 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[23] AllMusic editor Andy Kellman called it "clearly the singer’s best album yet [...] his most unified set of songs", adding that "Lloyd has pretty much perfected the art of transcending the modern-R&B Lothario cliché".[3] Maura Johnston of The Village Voice described the album as "utterly replayable" and commented that it "veers back and forth between unabashed romanticism [...], club-borne lust [...], and the brooding, yet unleashed love songs that helped him initially break onto the scene".[22] The A.V. Club's Evan Rytlewski complimented Polow da Don's material for Lloyd and wrote that the album "doubles down on his amorous enthusiasm, pushing it to such delirious extremes that these songs feel risky and uncharted even as they play to his most obvious strengths".[14] Glenn Gamboa of Newsday called it "ambitious" and commended Lloyd as "a bold thinker and a skillful singer".[24] Pitchfork's David Drake praised "the chemistry of Lloyd with producer Polow da Don", writing that "his work is primarily devoted to underlining Lloyd's vocals for maximum impact."[18] Drake commented that the album "takes a major step toward streamlining his sound, pushing Lloyd's voice to the center and making a bid for a higher level of recognition in the R&B world," and elaborated on its musical significance, stating:

A distinctive talent, Lloyd often let his vocals dance around the periphery of a song, giving his best tracks a spacey, removed quality. [...] Lloyd's knack for endearing romanticism is a vehicle for great music, and when the record falters, it feels like a misunderstanding of how his talent operates. [...] The heart of the record, though, are tracks like the euphoric headrush 'Jigsaw', where Lloyd's sense of rhythm lets his vocals dance confidently in the subdivisions of the groove, balancing sugary enthusiasm with deft physicality. Many of the album's best songs seem to inspire comparisons with dancing: There is a connection to the idea of dance as liberation here, as Lloyd's blushing sincerity builds up potential energy, the nimble performance acts as a release valve.[18]

— David Drake

However, Ken Capobianco of The Boston Globe found its songwriting "weak" and stated, "Lloyd shows little nuance, and Polow Da Don doesn’t color in the tracks with enough interesting musical flourishes to mask some of the vocalist’s weaknesses".[15] Slant Magazine's Matthew Cole criticized its "trendy production choices" and found its songs ill-suited for Lloyd, writing that he "fares best when he stays on the sillier, sexier side of things".[20] Despite calling it a "strong-laced R&B vocal album", Mireya Fernandez of The Source perceived an "inability to definitively differentiate from the vast sea of other R&B singers".[25] The Washington Post's Allison Stewart complimented "Dedication to My Ex (Miss That)", but stated, "it’s the first and only track on 'King of Hearts' to inspire any kind of strong reaction at all".[26] Los Angeles Times writer Jeff Weiss commented that "Lloyd possesses a levitating croon and admirably fills out most of producer Polow Da Don’s synthetic boudoir songs", while noting "not a cliché left unemployed".[16] Jon Caramanica of The New York Times viewed a lack of "focus" with the songs, but commended Polow da Don for "feeling the full range of [Lloyd's] lushness" in his production.[17] Rolling Stone writer Jody Rosen commended its "salacious silliness" and compared Lloyd to recording artist R. Kelly.[19] Steve Jones of USA Today stated, "it's Lloyd's energetic but smooth deliveries that create a diverse set of keepers".[21]

Track listing[edit]

1."Intro (MDMA)" (featuring Game)Jayceon Taylor1500 or Nothin'1:15
2."Dedication to My Ex (Miss That)" (featuring André 3000 & Lil Wayne)Dreshan Smith, Polow Jones, Dwayne Carter, Jr., Andre BenjaminD. Smith, Polow da Don (co.)3:56
3."Cupid" (featuring Awesome Jones!!!!1)Brandon Green, Jones, Jason Perry, Greg CurtisPolow da Don, Curtis (co.)3:55
4."Luv Me Girl" (featuring Chris Brown & Veronica Vega)Tron "Teezy T" Thomas, Keithin "J Mizzle" Pittman, Jones, Christopher Brown, B. Bramlett, L. RussellPolow da Don, Mizzle Boy4:05
5."Naked"Green, Jones, CurtisPolow da Don, Curtis (co.), Paul "Hollywood Hot Sauce" Dawson (co.)5:07
6."Jigsaw"Ryon Lovett, JonesPolow da Don3:36
7."Bang!!!!" (featuring 2 Chainz & Salo)Timothy Thomas, Theron Thomas, Ken "K-Fam" Fambro, Clifford "Wiz" Henson, Tauheed Epps, Salome, JonesFambro, Henson (co.), Polow da Don (co.)3:40
8."Be the One" (featuring Trey Songz & Young Jeezy)Tony Scales, Tremaine Neverson, Jay Jenkins, JonesPolow da Don4:33
9."Shake It 4 Daddy"Lloyd Polite, Jr., Full Circle, Jones, W. Clarke, M. Wright, P. WrightPolow da Don3:57
10."Lay It Down"Jones, Ester Dean, Veronika BozemanPolow da Don, Bozeman (co.)4:01
11."Angel"Dan Rockett, JonesRockett, Polow da Don2:59
12."This Is 4 My Baby"Lovett, JonesPolow da Don5:13
13."You II"Polite, Jr., Full Circle, JonesPolow da Don4:57
14."World Cry" (featuring R. Kelly, Keri Hilson & K'naan)David "King David" Mazoor, Jason Boyd, Jones, Robert Kelly, Keinan WarsameKing David, Polow da Don (co.), Poo Bear (co.)4:41

 • (co.) Co-producer
1Alias for Polow da Don


Credits for King of Hearts adapted from Allmusic.[27]


Chart (2011) Peak
Australian ARIA Hitseekers Chart[28] 15
US Billboard 200[29] 10
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[30] 5


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Yuscavage, Chris (July 1, 2011). Lloyd Overcomes Label Drama To Become 'King of Hearts'. Billboard. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  2. ^ Paine, Jake (December 15, 2009). FREE ALBUM DOWNLOAD: Like Me by Lloyd. HipHopDX. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  3. ^ a b c Kellman, Andy (July 5, 2011). King of Hearts - Lloyd: Review. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  4. ^ Lloyd - King Of Hearts CD Album. Muze. CD Universe. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  5. ^ King of Hearts: Lloyd: Music. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  6. ^ Lay It Down - Single by Lloyd. iTunes Store. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  7. ^ Lay It Down [Edited Version] - Lloyd. Billboard. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  8. ^ Lloyd Music News & Info. Billboard. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  9. ^ "Top 40 Rhythmic Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Mediabase. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  10. ^ NEW MUSIC: LLOYD FEAT. TREY SONGZ & YOUNG JEEZY – BE THE ONE (NEW SINGLE). ThisIsRnB. May 27, 2011. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (July 13, 2011). Beyonce's '4' Stays Atop Billboard 200, Lloyd Snags Top Debut. Billboard. Retrieved on 2011-07-14.
  13. ^ Langhorne, Cyrus (July 20, 2011). Beyonce Slips Up, Bad Meets Evil Falls From Top 10, Wiz Khalifa Strikes Gold, Cool Kids Rattle Up The Chart. SOHH. Retrieved on 2011-07-23.
  14. ^ a b Rytlewski, Evan (July 5, 2011). Lloyd: King Of Hearts | Music|Music Review. The A.V. Club. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  15. ^ a b Capobianco, Ken (July 5, 2011). Lloyd: "King of Hearts". The Boston Globe. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  16. ^ a b Weiss, Jeff (July 5, 2011). Album review: Lloyd's 'King of Hearts'. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  17. ^ a b Caramanica, Jon (July 4, 2011). New CDs by David Weiss and Lloyd - Review. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  18. ^ a b c Drake, David (August 5, 2011). Album Reviews: Lloyd: King of Hearts. Pitchfork. Retrieved on 2011-08-19.
  19. ^ a b Rosen, Jody (July 18, 2011). King of Hearts by Lloyd | Music Reviews. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2011-07-18.
  20. ^ a b Cole, Matthew (July 24, 2011). Lloyd: King of Hearts | Music Review. Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2011-07-26.
  21. ^ a b Jones, Steve (July 4, 2011). Listen Up notables: Lloyd's 'King of Hearts'. USA Today. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  22. ^ a b Johnston, Maura (July 6, 2011). Lloyd: Expletives Embraced. The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  23. ^ King of Hearts Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  24. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (July 1, 2011). Drops: Lloyd's 'King of Hearts'. Newsday. Retrieved on 2011-07-09.
  25. ^ Fernandez, Mireya (July 7, 2011). Lloyd - King Of Hearts [Album Review]. The Source. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  26. ^ Stewart, Allison (July 5, 2011). Quick spins: Lloyd, Pure X, Old 97s - Click Track. The Washington Post. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  27. ^ King of Hearts - Lloyd: Credits. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  28. ^ [1] ARIA Report 1145. Retrieved 2012-03-25
  29. ^ "Lloyd Album & Song Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  30. ^ "Lloyd Album & Song Chart History: R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 26 July 2011.

External links[edit]