I’m young, wild and like my music how I like my bedroom–intense! There’s something about blatant sexual references that intrigue me. I adore poetic lyrics, but a curse or two on the track is like ear candy to me. I am a Trey Songz advocate, Drake lover, Chris Brown fan who appreciates the sound of what older people like to call “ratchet” music. The artists I’ve listed aren’t as profound as Sam Cook, Luther Vandross or Marvin Gaye, but they have an audience and I’m in the front row waving my arms like I’m landing a plane.
With Usher investing his vocals in pop euro music and Chris Brown experimenting with upbeat dance tracks like “Turn Up The Music,” there is a void in R&B. Trey Songz’ career is soaring and the higher he gets, the more mainstream he becomes. The chances we’ll get another “Scratching Me Up” are slim. Besides, he can’t carry the genre back to its heightened melodic state all by himself! The songs on my iPod have become a mundane reminder of what I feel is missing in music.
Singer, songwriter and producer, The Dream released four new tracks within the last month. I didn’t pay so much attention to his first single with Fabolous “Slow It Down.” It had that signature Dream sound crafted by the boundaries of songs like “Shawty is a 10.” However, his following three releases show his maturity as a man and artists, without losing the luster that first attracted me to his music circa “Love Hate.” Songs like “Falsetto” and “Purple Kisses” established him as the “radio killer” he is today.
Dream’s hiatus from music was only visual. Behind the scenes, he was penning such songs as Kelly Rowland’s “Dirty Laundry” and Beyonce’s “Grown Woman.” Though enveloped in other artist’s projects, he was able to creat his own. “IV Play” isn’t a rushed, put together montage of leftover songs. It’s harmonious to Dream’s core.
“I can give a f**k about the foreplay, I want it now/ I’m talkin’ straight sex, stop f**king around,” he sings over my favorite “IV Play” panty dropper. The album is raunchy and raw. And his confident delivery makes it all the more enjoyable. There is no guilt for the Dreams unabashed verbiage. Everyone who was afraid to take it there, is slapping their foreheads because Dream is capatilizing on a deserted area of R&B. Not everyone can be as intellectual as Miguel but Dream embraces his strengths–arming himself the best way he knows how–with pen! “IV Play” is a multi-layered production and with substantial investments in bedroom bass, it keeps your hips rolling.
“IV Play” boasts features from Beyonce and 2 Chainz on the sensual “Turnt,” where Dream’s wordplay draws the grit out of Bey. Jay-Z, Pusha T, Big Sean, Fabolous and Kelly Rowland are among the featured list. Each of their respected contributions are among the better tracks on the album (not that there are so many bad ones, every disc has a couple of “skip”songs). “New Orleans” is an reflective account of complicated of love. His overt use of the b-word on the song is offensive, but the experience is familiar to many, so it is forgivable by me.
Even the most vulgar tracks are entertaining. “P***y” is downright mysogynistic but likable unlike Rick Ross’s “Put a molly in her drink/She ain’t even know it.” Aside from the typical Dream tracks like remind me of electronica, “IV Play” is in your face and in your bedroom when it needs to be. In your ear when your riding with your arm hanging out the window or in a relationship you can’t quite figure out. It’s a fun little ride (if you’re tall enough to board)!
The album is currently streaming on Vevo:
Listen and tweet me your thoughts @HB_Shamika
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