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IV Play: The Review


Neo Uruk

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I've been a fan of Terius Nash, or The-Dream, for a few years now. When I heard his summer jam "Shawty is tha !@#$," I immediately recognized a distinct talent level. It helped that Fabolous, one of my favorite hip-hop artists who dabbles in pop appeal, gave a solid intro to the track. But there was both something to The-Dream's voice and the way he laid down his bars that grabbed my attention. He proceeded to keep me waiting for new material with songs like "I Luv Your Girl," "Falsetto," "Love King," and several features such as "Live This Life" on Big Sean's Finally Famous, "No Church in the Wild" on Jay Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne, and "Higher" on GOOD Music's Cruel Summer. However, despite these contributions and major success as a songwriter, The-Dream's last pair of albums failed to meet commercial success.

His body of work, collectively, has very few bad songs. There's a lot of decent or "meh" tracks, but overall he is a very solid performed. Which is why I think Pitchfork, aka Hipster Delight Blog, went overboard giving him a 6.9 for his fifth album, IV Play. Then again, the highest Pitchfork has given a Kid Cudi album is 6.7 or 6.9. The only artist they've given reviews that are consistently in a good scoring range, based on talent, is Kanye West. Anyways, on to the review.

High Art [ft. Jay Z]: Honestly, this is Dream's best try at a banger. And he does a really decent job of it. Jay Z, however, does better at providing ad-libs than he does on his verse on this track, so once you get to him you can pretty much skip it. 7/10.

IV Play: This track feels like it's a lot longer than its 5:39 length, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The seductive half-crooning Dream lays down on the track works for him. Nice production. 8/10

Equestrian: I think it's pretty obvious that this is pretty much Dream's take on Ginuwine's "Pony". Not a classic Dream track, but decent enough. 7/10

!@#$% [ft. Pusha T & Big Sean]: Pusha T lays down the foundation for this track, then Dream brings a choppy flow to lead in to the chorus. Dream then delivers his signature style. Pretty amazing track up until Big Sean gives a slightly underwhelming verse, but it isn't enough to really ruin the song. 8.5/10

Turnt [ft. Beyonce & 2 Chainz]: I don't know why this song was made, honestly. It's pretty much the biggest mess to ever get put on a Terius Nash album. Beyonce is pretty ratchet in her verse, and this is pretty much the opposite end of the rapping performance she gave on "Bow Down/I Been On." 2 Chainz delivers what you would expect of him, even saying he would drink a female's bath water. somebody get this thirsty ass dude a Gatorade. The-Dream salvages his part of the song, but just barely. If you don't feel like sifting through the garbage, skip this one. 4/10

Where Have You Been [ft. Kelly Rowland]: Kelly Rowland has been a reliable feature for a love song duet for the longest time. Her best example would probably be "Dilemma" with Nelly. She drops in for a good feature on a song where Dream apparently pours his soul out. Very, very good way of portraying slight anger and love at the same time. 8.5/10

Too Early [ft. Gary Clark Jr.]: This song just has an amazing vibe in it. Lamenting about not being able to see his daughters or his sons, Dream still sounds perfectly ok in this song. Despite the lead artist being from North Carolina and the feature being from Austin, it manages to sound like a true Houston banger, which hasn't happened since Pimp C was living. 9.5/10

Michael: "This ain't a love song; I need to $%&@ you." You have to appreciate the blatant honesty here. Not sure about the whole sounding like Michael, but he's sure making something work here. 8/10

Loving You/Crazy: The groove starts strong. The most EDM/dance track Dream has ever made, and a very solid showing for his first break out of his own mold. 7.5/10

New Orleans: Ehhh. Maybe I don't have a strong enough connection with cajun. 4/10

Self-Conscious: A Good Message. In the same vein as "No Make-Up" by Kendrick Lamar, but without the weird "why does this sound so awkward for no reason" feel. 8/10

Holy Love: For some reason, the drums give me a chill. This song kicks harder than the drums, though. And they knock. 9/10

Outro: I don't even know. 23 seconds isn't much to value, but it leads up to Slow It Down's change of pace good. 7/10

Slow It Down [ft Fabolous]: "I know they're not gonna play this on Top 40 Radio." I'll be damned if they shouldn't, though. Quality single. Fabolous once again lends great help to a Dream top 8 song. 10/10

Divine: Could be better, but still a good song. 8/10

Y'All: Well, God didn't make him choke. He came through. A track on which Dream testifies to his accomplishments and struggles, and makes it sound beautiful. 10/10

Tron: Killer beat. Dream decides to put on his rap face to proclaim that he is RnB. He's arguably one of the best RnB artists out right now, and he shows the hunger of Carter II-Carter III Wayne. A pretty good surprise. The filter doesn't hurt, and he's spitting fire. 10/10

Psycho: We come back to Dream's crooning for the closure of the Deluxe edition. A solid track, but not really the highest note to end on. 8/10

The only song The-Dream didn't have a hand in producing was New Orleans, so he gets double credit as sole producer of 8/14 tracks

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