Keep Dreamin’

One thing is for sure The Dream has a definitive pulse on urban music. He’s written and produced for the top acts of R&B. In what may be called the third part of his musical journey the Love King album attempts to take a multifaceted look at this young artist who seems to have already lived two lifetimes.

Coproduced with Los Da Mystra, The Dream has created a mind-numbing album-titled track in “Love King” that somehow you don’t want to get out of your head. Sung by anyone else it would grate your nerves, instead the infectious beat and the constant “You don’t know me like that” makes it a listenable song. However it hasn’t done so well on its own. Peaking in the top ‘90s on the R&B billboard charts a remix was definitely in order. With Ludacris lending his talent to the remixed track that isn’t on this album the song moved up to the mid-thirties on the billboard R&B chart.

“Make Up Bag” featuring T.I. doesn’t exactly add substance to the hip/hop genre, worse yet it sounds like a watered down version of “Love King.” What saves this song are the melodic drum beat, finger snaps in the background and T.I.’s rap. Having said that, the lyrics are unnecessary and insulting. “Five stacks on the make up bag” won’t save this song. It makes you wonder how could this be the same person who co-wrote Beyonce’s “Single Ladies?”

Catch phrases and hooks comprise this album’s resonance. They seem to be the only things that make the songs memorable. Individually each track is a potential hit. However as a complete album the repeated clichés in each song make it boring and unimaginative. The song F.I.L.A. is a prime example. As a single it works because it’s the type of song that you don’t listen to deeply. It’s a radio song where you hear it in your car, like the beat, not care about the lyrics and as soon as it’s over you’ve forgotten about it.

Essentially none of these songs resonate. What’s more the tracks don’t have the lyrical depth of the label-mates he’s written for such as Rihanna’s “Umbrella.”

As a songwriter and producer for other artists, The Dream shows a prolific vision in what will not only be a hit, but have everyone in America singing “ella” and not know why. But when he writes for himself he seems lazy. His musicianship such as in the song “Nikki Part 2” is obvious and its lethargic beat doesn’t help.

Perhaps The Dream should not have taken back his comments of not making any more albums for himself. Or before he releases it he should act as if he’s writing for someone else.

About Donna-Lyn Washington 634 Articles
Donna-lyn Washington has a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is currently teaching at Kingsborough Community College where her love of comics and pop culture play key parts in helping her students move forward in their academic careers. As a senior writer for ReviewFix she has been able to explore a variety of worlds through comics, film and television and has met some interesting writers and artists along the way. Donna-lyn does a weekly podcast reviewing indie comics and has also contributed entries to the 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics,’ the academic anthology ‘Critical Insights: Frank Yerby’ and is the editor for the upcoming book, ‘Conversations With: John Jennings.’

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