The-Dream, IV Play

Nick Murray

By Nick Murray

on 05.30.13 in Reviews

IV Play


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.

One of the good guys still taking love songs seriously

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.