Review ·

Over the past three years, Terius "The-Dream" Nash has eked out a niche as R&B's new sultan of sleaze, very nearly edging out R. Kelly in terms of his dogged determination to making sex the driving force and primary inspiration behind his music. The-Dream's "Love" trilogy, comprising his debut album, Love Hate, follow-up, Love vs. Money, and the just released Love King, deals almost exclusively with sexual prowess and sexual impropriety and the positive and negative repercussions of both. But where Love Hate drafted the prototype for The-Dream's sound and Love vs. Money perhaps perfected it, Love King finds the talented singer, songwriter and producer losing steam.

Love King's problems start straight away with the opener and title track. With its plunking, two-chord piano riff and laundry list of girls name-checked in the verses, "Love King" is a near complete retread of The-Dream's 2007 debut single, "Shawty Is A 10." Later, "F.I.L.A." nicks the flatulent trumpet fanfares of Love vs. Money's "Rockin That Thing" almost wholesale. "Turnt Out" lands dangerously close to the high register hijinx of "Falsetto." "Yamaha" goes for the same shameless Prince homage that he he mined for Love Hate's "Fast Car." A musical innovator like The-Dream really shouldn't be pinching hooks off of old hits this early in his career.

 

While much of Love King finds The-Dream flying in a holding pattern in search of direction, the album does hold some promise. Even when he's treading water, The-Dream shows flashes of brilliant songwriting and state-of-the-art production. The down-tempo sonics of "Sex Intelligent" are a definite career highlight, and the boast at the heart of the song's chorus ("I make every nigga irrelevant/ I'm sex intelligent") represents The-Dream at his comedic, sex-crazed finest. Its only rival occurs during the very thinly veiled kiss-off "Florida University," whose chorus is a chant of the titular school's initials, when The-Dream croons "What rhymes with 'asshole'?/ 'Asshole!.'" Another album highlight is the loosely story-based three-song suite "Yamaha," "Nikki 2," and "Abyss," where a bit of seemingly harmless fun quickly turns ugly. The-Dream's knack for forlorn emotional theatrics has always been his secret weapon. Late in the album, the trance-influenced "Panties to the Side" presents itself as a possible new direction.

The-Dream has threatened in recent interviews to make Love King his last album. His helium-voiced R. Kelly-meets-Prince shtick is a little worn, but retirement seems like a copout. What he really needs are some new ideas and some fresh blood. As it stands, Love King's production team -- The-Dream, Christoper "Tricky" Stewart and Los Da Mystro -- is quickly turning into a gang of old college buddies; every time they get together, they're up to the same old tricks. As self-referencial and derivative as it is at times, Love King is a good album and a worthy addition to The-Dream's sordid canon. Third albums often represent the moment where an artist's sound either gels or falls apart. With Love King, The-Dream has narrowly skirted an artistic rut by staunchly holding his ground. But he can't keep making the exact same album for much longer.

 

  • Love King
  • Make Up Bag [ft. T.I.]
  • F.I.L.A.
  • Sex Intelligent
  • Sex Intelligent (Remix)
  • Yamaha
  • Nikki Part 2
  • Abyss
  • Panties to the Side
  • Turnt Out
  • February Love
  • Florida University

Until the Dream changes his mind, Love King is the end of the line for him, as far as solo releases go. Originally slated to be a collaboration with Kanye West, if Love King really is the Dream's last album it is the culmination of a kind of "Love" trilogy, following Love/Hate and Love vs. Money. Guess we know where The Dream's thematic obsession lies, possibly along with the desire to establish himself as some kind of summit as far as his particular brand of R&B-tronica is concerned.

 

The only possible worry is that after writing a ton of material for Mariah Carey, Christina Milian, Brandy, and Diddy, of all people, will The Dream have enough brilliance left in his pen/keyboard to make an album that's worth living up to the excellent releases he's already put out? The only thing to do is to hope that The Dream wouldn't let himself go out (or rather, wake up) like that.

V/A - Eccentric Breaks & Beats Knut Wonder

wen is his album coming put!?

demi

The Dream said he would release it in 2009 but he was busy. in January 2010 he announced that his album ''Love King'' was finished and would be released on May 17,2010

Mike

The-Dream personally said it will be released June 22nd, 2010... A summer of "Love" just like his last two!

YoungRival

I love your song "LOVE KING"

Shay

Album cover art added

/site_media/uploads/images/users/daba/me-bermudajpg.jpg Daba

Album is gonna be FIRE!!! between The Dream, and Neyo you can always expect great music...

Love King

Real talk.. The Dream is one of the most influential and creative song writers we've seen in decades. If you've been listening, not just hearing, but listening to his material, album after album and song for song, his projects are so potent. Very forward thinking and left field enough to make it clear that the intent of these tracks are not just to get radio play, but to drop music that we feel and appreciate. I get it. With out the fan fare, the dream has dropped so many classics. I am saddened that this may be his last album. My only hope is that he realize what Jay-Z has, that our culture need artist such as the dream that will keep music authentic, not just radio frienedly. That equals longevity!.. With being said, I eagerly await "Love King".. I know it will be fire.. What I heard thus far has me open. Sex Intelligent, Black everything.. No one makes music like this, and very few people have the ability to. His style peeks oir curiosity as the track builds to the chorus. . Genius!!

Kevin H. (ATL)

what is that song with the dream and trey songz? i think its about a stripper, or heels lol idk .

Maya

It's more of the same. If you liked his previous albums you'll like this one too. I can't front, there's a lot of good music on this. He's done it again.

Andre

Im n love with the dream,,he knows wat REAL music is all about,,he sings about shyt u can feel and if you havent felt it yet he makes u wana feel it..SO excited about this album, he said it best he is the Love King..

Floe

plz don't retire dream i love u and ur music i'm 1 of ur biggest fans plz don't leave me

wateva

Horrible review. You didn't even include the songs on the deluxe version. Songs like "Sorry" and "Priceless" are great.

AP

i love drame

tpoy

Bonus tracks aren't part of the album. What's the use of wasting ink over songs that Dream didn't think were good enough to include on every edition of the album?

/site_media/uploads/images/users/LongestWinter/moonjpg.jpg CraigJenkins

Yeah, and he totally blew it with Veteran. That song is killer.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/thestorfer/1202393jpeg.jpeg andross

Dream getting caught cheating: life imitating art or vice versa?

/site_media/uploads/images/users/LongestWinter/moonjpg.jpg CraigJenkins

Both? The best part was I saw a quote about him fathering Milian's kid, and he was like, "I don't do much with the baby, because that leads to expectations. I mean, if Christina has problems with Violet, call the nanny, call Violet's grandma." The-Dream= Number One Dad of all time.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/thestorfer/1202393jpeg.jpeg andross

Yo Turnt Out n Priceless go Hard keep doing ur thing !!

Phin

like nikkipart2

marquon

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