With a stage name like “The Dream” one would generally think that this singer/songwriter has an aura of arrogance, a certain confidence that must compel the listener to be in awe of his “Dream” like material.The question is, is his music more of a nightmare to listen to than a dream? As much as you find yourself trying to put The Dream in the former of these two, you can’t. You just tend to find yourself falling victim to the concepts, the wordplay and delivery of his work.
Back for his second solo LP, Love versus Money goes straight to the ears with the albums first solo single, Rockin’ That Thang. After writing hits like Umbrella for Rihanna and Moving Mountains for Usher it’s clear that The Dream isn’t a stranger to the concept of making a hot record.
Rocking That Thang has the makings of track that you can just vibe to with your girlfriend, but can also have you popping champagne at the club in a frenzy with the ever present use of “AAY’s”, an adlib that has become a frequent feature of many of the south’s exports.
Walking on the Moon is another of the more upbeat tracks on the album that sees a feature from Kanye West compliment The Dreams smooth vocals. With a strong chorus that will compel you to slide from side to side and rhythmically click your fingers Ye’ comes in with melodic lyrics that saw him establish himself as one of the most successful artists in 2008.
However Love versus Money isn’t just a blend of banging 808s and futuristic beats. The Dream taps into the themes that coined the title of the LP.
Love versus and money part one and part two see The Dream emotionally delve into the dynamics of a riveting love triangle (which very well could be his with a certain R&B singer and a tatted up dread-locked rap artist) that was crippled by the acquisition of his wealth. With words like “Instead of loving you, I was making it rain”.
However contrary to part 1, part 2 sees The Dream let his anger out with lyrics like “Quit acting like I’m the only one to blame honey, didn’t hear you scream no, when you was tricking off my money”. With the two tracks both sides of a story are effectively documented with precision. But it just wouldn’t be complete without the addition of love songs. Put it down and Kellys 12 play are the subtle laid back tracks that see The Dream explore where to “do it” and how to in fact “put it down”.
Make no mistake Love versus Money just oozes quality. It’s an album that past and present day RnB lovers would simply drool over. Tricky Stewart lends his creative hand at producing the majority of the tracks whilst the Radio Killa (which is also the name of The Dreams label) has set the bar very high for R&B artists in 2009.
Words by Richard Ashie