The-Dream - IV Play (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
YOU’VE got to hand it to The-Dream, aka Terius Youngdell Nash, he’s all romance… when not singing about having one hand on a pussy, he’s insisting that he wants to fuck you (not fall in love).
But seriously… if that makes you all hot and sweaty in anticipation of The-Dream’s particular brand of smooth groove R&B, then there’s plenty here to ‘savour’. For the most part, though, this is just plain bland, generic and chauvenistic.
IV Play does come dressed up with all the usual trappings, most notably in the form of big name collaborators such as Jay-Z, Beyonce, Big Sean, Kelly Rowland and Pusha T. But they bring little or none of their own identities, as The-Dream stamps his authority all over proceedings and shows very little in the way of diversity.
All told, this is a tedious, tedious listen populated by reactionary lyrics that provoke contempt.
Take New Orleans as a prime example, which asks: “How can I love this bitch and at the same time scream fuck this bitch and at the same time while I fuck this bitch and at the same time have enough of this bitch?”
Nash may claim there’s a romanticism amid the lyrics, or that he’s telling a story of love and all its frustrations, but no matter which way you dress it, the reference to his subject as a bitch repeatedly throughout is demeaning.
There are a handful of OK songs. Too Early, featuring Gary Clark Jr, adds a bluesy element to the R&B sound and actually makes for a decent listen, while Loving You/Crazy drops some slick beats and a dance-worthy sound reminiscent, at times, of Timbaland and Timberlake. The lyrics remain dodgy, though, given that they continue to be sex obsessed.
Of the bigger moments, Jay-Z crops up on album opener High Art, which nevertheless underwhelms with insipid beats and yet more dodgy lyrics such as “I make love to my girl and get high with my niggaz”.
P*SSY, meanwhile, finds Big Sean and Push T rapping over proceedings while Nash himself lays claim to indulging in plenty of vaginal action. But it’s tiresome and juvenile.
Put together, those two words [tiresome and juvenile] are a good way to sum up the album as a whole.
Download picks: Too Early, Loving You/Crazy, Slow It Down