ometime between R. Kelly’s infamous trial and now, The-Dream took the baton from the R and built his own legacy as the go-to producer and elite R&B
artist. He has produced the type of sex-oozing music that you
aren’t embarrassed to play in front of your girlfriend or play in
your car with the windows down. The-Dream, never short on ego, brings
forth his latest album Love King. It’s everything you
expect from the innovative frontrunner. It’s filled with
confidence, cockiness, sex and feel-good cuts.

Like the previous two Dream albums, Love King‘s
production value is top notch. The-Dream has mastered synths and the
bass lines always seem to feel right. After one listen, it’s easy
to see why he was behind the boards on smash hits like Rihanna’s
“Umbrella.” The artist is a chameleon. His ability to adapt
his voice, production and confidence to fit a track or topic is
impressive. On “Yamaha” and “Nikki Part 2” he
is able to channel Prince-esque instrumentation in a Pop-friendly way
that artists like Van Hunt could not. Both tracks maintain radio
appeal, and speak to R&B fans of yesterday and tomorrow at once.
“Nikki Part 2” sees The-Dream’s vocals accompanied by
a dope use of tempo and melody between the bridge, chorus and verses.
His ability as a producer and songwriter to manipulate these elements
is what makes him so acclaimed. 

The-Dream has a precise understanding of making hit records.
“Florida University” is a clever middle finger record that
uses the SEC school’s initials as the chorus. “Abyss”
would be a standout cut on anybody else’s record, and
“February Love” is sure to be a ladies favorite, with good
reason. The standout track on the record is easily “Take Care of
Me.” From start to end it is as close to perfect as a track can
be. The-Dream brings forth his most intimate songwriting to date and
showcases a very underrated powerful voice. It may be the best track
that the artist has ever written or sung. It’s easy to get caught
up in it’s melody and it’s stripped down production is top

Love King does have its flaws. “Panties To The
Side” is as corny and predictable as the title. These moments are
where The-Dream blends in with his peers instead of standing out.
“Sex Intelligent” isn’t as clever as The-Dream would
have hoped, while questionable rapping plagues the remix.
“Everything Black” is dumbed-down writing that very well
could make waves on the radio but not due to impressive artistry.
Throughout the Love King, The-Dream shines when he is singing
in his falsetto,. The moments where he sings in his middle range are
times where he loses the attention of his audience. He clearly
doesn’t have the overwhelming range of an artist like Maxwell,
and this forces him to play with voice manipulating studio tricks.
He’s not “T-Paining,” but he also isn’t blowing
as much as he should. It could easily be blamed on the type of music he’s making, regardless, The-Dream would have done himself a huge favor showcasing his voice’s range and power.

When The-Dream’s second LP, Love Vs. Money didn’t receive a Grammy nomination
he confidently tweeted, “Isn’t it funny the best album of
2009 didn’t get a nomination for the second year straight.”
He may have had a point, but he also reinforced the opinion that he has
a Kanye West-like ego. His music oozes of confidence and with an album
entitled Love King, it’s clear he believes it. The
R&B star/super producer brings forth another very polished album.
It’s clear that he is putting his stamp on the R&B scene, and
with high hopes that the album outshines its predecessors, The-Dream is
attempting to sit on the throne alone and for a brief on “Take
Care of Me” he looks down on everyone proudly.

via luke gibson hiphopdx