King of Hearts

Album Review of King of Hearts by Camu Tao.

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King of Hearts

Camu Tao

King of Hearts by Camu Tao

Release Date: Aug 17, 2010
Record label: Definitive Jux
Genre(s): Rap, Pop/Rock, Alternative Rap, Underground Rap

65 Music Critic Score
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King of Hearts - Fairly Good, Based on 2 Critics

AllMusic - 70
Based on rating 7/10
70

But even taken as is, it's clear that Camu was interested in pushing boundaries and melding genres, both for him and hip-hop itself -- as anyone who's heard his 2001 single "Hold the Floor," he's a more than able MC -- and the record succeeds because of this willingness to experiment. Many of the songs are unfinished, although unlike Biggie's Life After Death, Dilla's Donuts, or even Jeff Buckley's Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk (all posthumous or nearly posthumous albums), Camu doesn't have the first solo record(s) already in the bag to give fans a reference point. Instead, all we have to build our impression from are the literal bits and pieces of songs: some without verses ("Bird Flu"), some without production ("Fuck Me"), some practically interludes ("Intervention," "Actin A Ass").

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PopMatters - 60
Based on rating 6/10
60

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.

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