Break-ups are never easy for anyone. Even if you're the type of guy who doesn't really wear your heart on your sleeve, there are a number of emotions that we all go through.
OK, so you may not be comfortable expressing your feelings, lucky for you Rico Love packaged all of his woes in his debut album Turn the Lights On.
The singer, rapper and producer is most-known for his pen work, writing songs for superstar artists like Usher ("There Goes My Baby"), Beyoncé ("Sweet Dreams") and Kelly Rowland ("Motivation") and now on TTLO he's taking the artist plunge.
The album was released on May 18, but the LP's story takes time to unravel, as the the meticulous writer tells his tale. Each song serves as a separate chapter, that pulls at your heartstrings.
Opening with the acoustic "TTLO," Rico sings about the pain that comes with necessary truths and the temporary comfort that lies sometimes provide. "What you gonna do when the lights come on," he asks before proclaiming "I ain't scared, I'm gonna show you what I'm 'bout."
From that very moment, the beat switches from gentle guitar licks to heavy trap drums and this is where the album really begins. With the first few songs ("Bad Attitude" and "Trifling"), an already committed Rico owns up to his infidelity. But rather than just sing of his tumultuous love affairs, he invites listeners into the mind of a cheater.
"Oops, I almost told your boyfriend that I loved you," he sings with audacity to his mistress on "Trifling."
Not only, does Rico violate his relationship with his children's mother, he also refuses to play his position as boyfriend number two -- and he should know better, especially considering he laid out those rules when he wrote the R&B hit "Boyfriend #2" for Pleasure P in 2008.
Rico does present a reasoning for his recklessness on "TTLO" though. For the young songwriter, who went from broke to millionaire, the transition was too much, too quick. "I love my girl death, and I ain't mean no disrespect/ But I was 25 and a had a million on me, so those girls were sending texts," he raps, incorporating doses of hip-hop into the soulful R&B album.
It doesn't take long before things come crashing down on the eerie and dramatic "Ride," and then reality strikes on the painstakingly honest "For the Kids." On the gut-wrenching lullaby Rico and his Ms. must decide whether they break-up for good or stay together unhappily for the sake of their kids. With this song, he tells the story from both the male and female perspective.
"They told me to stay for the kids, so I did," he sings, in the imagined voice of his longtime girlfriend.
Eventually, Love realizes the hurt that he's caused, not only to his lady, but to himself as well. He's forced to tend to his own wounds on the '80s soft rock-inspired "Days Go By," where he lays in bed regretfully, all night with his T.V. on.
With "Somebody Else" he faces his greatest heartbreak, concluding that he wants his girl back, even though she's moved on. "You're a million miles passed gone, I wish my babe was home, but you're loving somebody else" he cries.
By the end of the LP, Rico Love gets it together, but even in the album's resolve there is hurt. "If we can't be happy, can we at least pretend," he asks on "The Proposal." With so much heartbreak between him and his lady, Rico offers a less-than-ideal solution. "So we might as well get married," he suggests.
Welcome to heartbreak.