The R&B industry has been long considered dead. With the emergence of rap music, which seems to have unvarying beats and lyrics that only inflate artists’ egos, there has been little room for the lyrically crafted arrangements that haven’t been successful since the likes of Boys II Men.
But North Carolina native and industry veteran The Dream is stepping further into the limelight, awakening a floundering R&B genre.
Following a highly successful debut album, The Dream returns with his sophomore attempt, “Love vs. Money,” where the topics range from sex, losing love, learning that money can’t buy you everything and more sex. However, the album isn’t completely tasteless and approaches some of the more sensual angles in an extremely sensitive way.
“Rockin’ That Thang,” the first single off the album, provides a great opening track that is insidiously catchy with a chorus that has so much appeal that Usher would blush.
Adding to the album’s highly energized front end, “Walkin’ On The Moon,” features Kanye West and his ever-increasing self-image, but somehow manages to provide an element to a song that would otherwise seem like a repetitive synthesizer layer.
Though the album takes a serious tone from the get go, The Dream does offer some hilarity in the overly sensual description provided in “Sweat It Out,” where he kindly advises, “Girl call Atisha, your beautician, ’cause your hair is gonna need fixin’,” later complimenting himself by uttering, “I know you like the love we make.”
The album’s title track, “Love vs. Money,” shows a more serious and sensitive side to The Dream, saying, “. Stars get their hearts broke too you know,” and later claiming that money can’t buy love: “He took my any and everything out my world . I should’ve known that money couldn’t match.”
“Love vs. Money” doesn’t have a song on it that should be left off the album. In fact, The Dream has a sense of affection throughout the entire album that makes you fall in love with the beats that most producers could only dream of making.
In a floundering R&B music scene, sometimes dreams really do come true.
Staff writer Ian Mahan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.