This is certainly The-Dream’s week … at least the first half looks to be. Prior to his second show at SOB’s on Monday night, the R&B singer/songwriter/producer held an intimate listening session to preview his forthcoming album “Love IV MMXXII” for a select group of writers, including Billboard.com.
Check out their recap and preview of the standout cuts below…
Last month, the singer told Billboard that “Love IV” marries his split personas, and listening to a dozen songs from the album confirmed his promise. Sipping on a can of Mountain Dew, Nash sat on a control panel in the studio and mimicked the various instruments on each song, while amplifiers rattled — and almost fell off the dashboard of the panel — behind him. “I played the ones I knew was gonna be on there for sure,” he told his captive audience, noting that he probably had over 40 other songs that might make the final cut.
Here is a breakdown of a few standouts on “Love IV MMXXII”…
“Foreplay“: Another thumping sex jam from a man who’s fashioned his career around them, but the vibe here is more immediate and epic, as The-Dream seethes, “I could give a fuck about the foreplay.” The track recalls R. Kelly’s “12 Play” more effectively than, well, “Kelly’s 12 Play,” a song off The-Dream’s “Love vs. Money.”
“Lovin You/Crazy“: Like “Love Vs. Money” Parts 1 and 2, this robotic stomp splits its message into two intoxicating parts. Pissed off and desperate, The-Dream sings, “I’m willing to lose everything for her,” as drums explode behind his vocals. “I can’t take all the credit for that [song]. The cocaine had a lot to do with it,” The-Dream deadpanned after the song ended, possibly joking and possibly very serious.
“Paid” featuring Gucci Mane: A banger and obvious single choice, this team-up between two Atlanta all-stars features an inviting bed of synthesizers and an unavoidable hook. A revitalized Gucci Mane thankfully holds up his end of the bargain on one of the only collaborations previewed.
“Y’All“: An introspective track that shrouds The-Dream’s syrupy vocals in a thick coat of Auto-Tune. Religious imagery abounds, references to the singer’s mother and father are striking, and the line “Somedays I’m Superman, but sometimes my cape needs dry cleaning every once in a while” somehow works.
“Talk That Shit“: On this new cut — like at the S.O.B.’s shows, and on Twitter — The-Dream clarifies that he is indeed angry about the attention being given to rising male R&B stars like The Weeknd, and that these characters still can’t touch him. The music here is delicious, but superfluous. “Talk That Shit” is The-Dream lashing out at his competition, dropping lines like, “It ain’t nothing new when you’re remixing my old shit,” and “Didn’t I turn you rappers into singers? Didn’t I make you famous?” It’s a formidable, highly entertaining track, and defines The-Dream’s mindset as he gears up for his next album, which does not yet have a release date.