The-Dream, IV Play
One of the good guys still taking love songs seriously
The first thing you learn about The-Dream’s new album is that its title is a red herring. “I don’t give a fuck about the foreplay, I want it now,” he sings two songs in. Five songs later, that’s modified to “Fuck a love song, I need to fuck you,” but set among enough MJ references, throw-pillow piano chords and Ciceronian paralipsis (“And sure I could tell you how wonderful you are…”) to sound almost romantic.
Few other tracks even sugarcoat it that much. “Equestrian,” “Pussy” and “Turnt,” offered back-to-back-to-back, are all sex jams, their hard, spacious beats either suggesting the influence of in-demand Atlanta producer Mike Will Made It or reminding us how much The-Dream has influenced Mike Will. On the other hand, when Dream loves, he loves: Later cuts “Loving You/Crazy,” “New Orleans” and “Holy Love” describe a passion so intense it can only be attribute to, in order of appearance, insanity, voodoo or good old-fashioned Catholicism.
The best track, however, might be the bonus one, on which the self-described Radio Killa brings back perennially likeable NY rapper Fabolous while offering an unexpected admission: “I know they ain’t gonna play this on Top 40 radio/ But the white girls still gon’ ride it like a rodeo.” Then later, an unexpected jab — “Them other ni**as had to do a dance record or the label wouldn’t put ‘em out” — that leads into the singer finally admitting what we knew all along: The-Dream is one of good guys still taking love songs seriously. You gotta slow it down.