If you, like us, have spent 2011 in an Ambien-like stupor thanks to the droopy eyed, nicotine stained r’n’b slow jams from The Weeknd (who we blogged about in April) you’ll be pleased that The-Dream has returned with a new mixtape, ‘1977’ (download it here) which bears the unmistakable influence of Mr Abel Tesfaye.
The-Dream’s first three album bore the trace of someone who grew up listening to Prince’s ‘The Beautiful Ones’ on repeat but whose lascivious lyrics had more in common with the likes of R.Kelly. The deliciously dopey double header of this years ‘Body Work’ and ‘Fuck My Brains Out’ were recent examples. The sexist swagger only told half the story however; The-Dream was also the songwriting genius behind such anthems of feminine solidarity as Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)’, Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ along with Bey’s recent ‘1+1’.
So, we’re pretty excited to report that ‘1977’ finds The-Dream peeling off the layers of his machismo to reveal his more confessional side. It’s probably no coincidence that it’s credited to his real name (“Terius Nash”) not his more starry moniker. This could be to do with last year’s split from Christina Milian, his issues with label Def Jam or just a new openness. Along with pledging his allegiance to Wal-Mart and making strange remarks about Jesus he told Pitchfork “I think the thing that’s a big hit with everybody is how vulnerable those lyrics are.“ Hence the likes of ‘Wake Me When It’s Over’, ‘When You Were Mine’ and the Graduate-style fantasy of “drunk song” ‘Wedding Crasher’.
We’re pretty sure it’ll be back to his bragging party when the new Dream album ‘The Love IV (Diary Of A Mad Man)’ comes out in December, but for now ‘1977’ feels perfectly timed.