(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Love/Hate (2007) , 7/10
Love vs Money (2009) , 5/10

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

Atlanta's black singer-songwriter Terius "The-Dream" Nash, who had already written the Britney Spears and Madonna duet Me Against the Music, Mary J. Blige's Just Fine, J. Holiday's Bed and Rihanna's Umbrella (2007), debuted solo with Love/Hate (2007), produced by Christopher "Tricky" Stewart and Carlos "L.O.S. da Mystro" McKinney. His casual style finds a sophisticated balance between soul and hip-hop music. The hits are created when that balance is catchy but velvety irrelevant: Shawty Is Da Shit, Playin' in Her Hair and Purple Kisses. The real eloquence of The-Dream is expressed in the innocent street rap Fast Car (with harpsichord), in the moving piano-driven lullaby Mama, and in the colloquial jazzy I Luv Your Girl. The dark side of his art is well represented by the fractured pop of Falsetto and the neurotic rap of She Needs My Love. He maintains an assertive tone even when disturbed by free-form electronics as in Nikki. Orchestration, beat and recitation peak with the aggressive Ditch That, that is actually rapped/sung by female guests. The booming disco-oriented Livin' A Lie (featuring Rihanna) sounds out of context. Overall, this is a poignant kaleidoscope of melodies, orchestrations and beats.

After writing Beyonce's Single Ladies and Mariah Carey's Touch My Body, Nash resurrected The-Dream for Love vs Money (2009), an album more focused (or unfocused) on melancholy ballads (notably the six-minute Fancy), despite the glamorous overture of Rockin' That Thang (written by Sean Hall). He flirts with the dancefloor (the bouncing Walkin' On The Moon, written by Kanye West who also sings) and the arena (the breezy My Love, written by Carlos McKinney and with backing vocals by Mariah Carey) but not too convincingly. The heretic role of Ditch That is here played by Put It Down (another McKinney creation), and the moving elegy du jour is Right Side Of My Brain. Overall, this is a much more convetional collection of songs.

His albums were among the first to challenge the Timbaland/Neptunes domination of black soul-pop music.

Love King (2010) was a minor effort.

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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