Love is a powerful feeling and emotion. It’s the reason why you have passion for your relationship, your favorite sports team, your favorite artist, and more. It’s also the reason why artists keeps pushing. The music industry is a wicked business. You often hear stories of artists having their material stolen on a regular basis. The life of an artist is hard as they’re vulnerable. They put their life out in the public eye and that’s a love that most of us can’t begin to imagine let alone reciprocate for the person we love. For nearly a decade, Terius Nash a.k.a. The-Dream has put his life on display with his writings and recordings. Dream has written for all of your favorite artists, including Drake, Rihanna, and Beyonce. While he’s been a recording artist since 2007, his sound has continued to evolve which makes him a breath of fresh air with how the landscape of R&B sounds going into 2017.
The-Dream treated us to a new five song EP titled Love You To Death on the same day that J. Cole and Ab-Soul dropped new albums. While many overlooked it, the EP is a treat that will satisfy your R&B needs for the remainder of the year. Not only is the quality of the EP great, but it’s also easy to digest. Many R&B projects have become bloated with only a handful of records being memorable. The-Dream manages to avoid that by giving you his five best songs, a move that I believe more artists should begin making in our ADHD society. If you’re here to listen to some upbeat records like Dream has put out in the past, you’ll be skipping over this project. From the beginning of ‘Lemon Lean’, the whole vibe is seductive. This is music that makes you want to grab your significant other, sway back and forth, and lose yourself while gazing into their eyes. The guitar strings are hypnotic and Dream’s vocals melt in between each chord played as he sings to his lady about being head over heels for her in ways that will only be described as intimate acts of passion.
Love You To Death tells a short story of the ups and downs of a relationship. ‘College Daze’ sees Dream making a mistake in the relationship, sounding like something that happens often. In typical male fashion, he brings up his girl’s past (“I forgot about them things you did in college/can you forget about those things I did last night”) in an attempt to get out of fighting with her. Dream then realizes how fly his girl really is and how he messed things up on the Rihanna dedicated “Rih-Flex”. The melody is slow, the keys playing gently behind the synths and drums while Dream sings about his girl having that “Rihanna Flex”, a trait that exudes confidence and sex appeal.
After a relationship ends, you begin to reflect on the mistakes that were made and how you could make things better if you had one more chance. Enter ‘Madness’, a song that has Dream reminiscing on the good times while his ex has other plans. He sings, “this is ultra super random but I want to know if you’re busy tonight/girl we’re like Susan Sarandon, girl we go back let’s go back like old times”. This is his version of the “hey bighead” text that people send to their ex when they’re thinking of them. It doesn’t work for Dream as he sings her reply: “then she say she ain’t in Atlanta, bet bet/ then she killed a n***a with a text that read/it would’ve gotten better if you stayed with me”. The build up of the production on this song is masterful and shows the evolution of his sound. ‘Ferris Wheel’ ends our story with The-Dream, a song that sounds like a carnival sonically. The drums give off a Caribbean vibe but the vocals are pitched in a way that makes them sound a bit creepy.
Artists have a tough time connecting songs to tell a story with a full body of work. For The-Dream to do it in just five songs and have them all sounding phenomenal sonically, is a testament to him as an artist. While he’s written some of the hottest songs over the last decade, he’s forgotten when it comes to being an artist. Love You To Death caters to his core fan base while also sounding like he can win some new ears over for his upcoming new album in early 2017.
Repeatable: ‘Lemon Lean’, ‘Rih-Flex’, ‘Madness’
Skippable: ‘Ferris Wheel’
By Joe Coad