Clem De La Creme defies easy categorization stylistically and geographically on the globe-trotting flows of “Lovedown”. Exploring the skyline of Shanghai, Japanese board games, relationships, yearning, lust, and more the collection covers the emotional gamut of what it means to be alive in this moment. The sound itself has a luxurious decadence to it for his production sparkles. Stylistically rooted in hip-hop, he brings it pieces of lounge, jazz, pop, and a glowing futuristic R&B into the fray. By far the highlight comes from his vocals which neatly tie all these many elements together.
The joy of the collection comes from the wide plethora of artists he draws inspiration from in ways that truly surprise. For the sultry side of things, he takes a page from Mr. Flash’s unique mixture of electro with 60s easy-listening samples. Humor and hyper-specific references recall a bit of the late and great MF Doom for he incorporates a wide slew of wordplay into the sound, even messing with tempo whenever he feels like it. Going even further afield there’s almost a chillwave nostalgic kick to the sound, bring into the fray groups such as Neon Indian and Washed Out in terms of their gentle vibes.
“Introlude” sets the tone, a bit giddy as it has a certain joy behind it. Grooves have a physicality to them on the rolling, laid-back bassline of “I Just Wanna See You”. A beautiful lush sound washes over the listener on the sheer wild spirit of “All They Have” where the bass wobbles with such stately grace. Poppy to its core “Lotta Love” has a mellowed vibe to it, with the sample teased out until it becomes almost flirtatious fitting perfectly with his flow.
Delicate with its woozy fragile lovelorn quality is “Machi Koro” with Clem De La Creme bringing some elements of jungle and traditional folk into the fray. Akin to a long-lost Burial track, this is by far the highlight of the album as it tugs at the heartstrings. Melodically rich “Goodbye” exists in a dreamlike state, radiating a blurred grandeur to it. With the title track “Lovedown” he captures the zeitgeist as he brings a bit of tension and fear into the lyricism. Playing with the rhythm, bringing it from low-slung G-Funk to EDM and back, there’s a teasing quality to it. With “Blessings” he brings the whole of the collection to a joyous, celebratory finale.
“Lovedown” shows off Clem De La Creme’s fire and poignant storytelling, with narratives that linger in the mind long after the album has ended.